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Dollar Spot Disease – It’s Going To Cost More Than A Dollar To Fix This Disease

What is Dollar Spot Fungus?
Dollar spot fungus (Sclerotinia Homoeocarpa) is a pathogen that will infect your lawn when the environmental factors are just right. This disease is known to spread and merge to create more and larger dead spots. The grass blades that are infected with Dollar spot will have hourglass-shaped lesions with bleached centers, and reddish-brown to purplish borders. The most susceptible types of grass to experience this are unfortunately both cool and warm season grasses.

What does dollar spot look like?
Dollar spot fungus is small, round and bleaches to straw color spots in the lawn. This often occurs in closely mowed turf. These spots can appear to be anywhere in size of 1 inch-6 inches in diameter. This disease will continue to spread without treatment. It can look similar to dog urine damage.

This is an image of Dollar Spot on cool season grass.
Dollar Spot on cool season grass

This is an image of Dollar Spot on a golf course
Dollar Spot on a golf course

 

This is an image of Dollar Spot lesions on blades of grass
Dollar Spot lesions on blades of grass

What is the life cycle of Dollar Spot?
This disease will start to appear in late spring to mid fall when the days are warm and the nights are cool. Especially when temperatures are between 60-80°F. This disease also favors high humidity and long periods of wetness.

Why does this happen and how to avoid it?
Dollar spots can appear in low nitrogen lawns, dry soils and low mowed lawns. As well as excessive thatching and leaving wet autumn leaves on the lawn can encourage this disease to germinate. This disease can spread through not treating it properly, mowers, lawn equipment infected grass clippings, shoes, wind, water and animals. If you do have this disease be sure to not leave your lawn clippings on the lawn.

How to maintain/cure Dollar Spot?
There are a few methods to take care of this disease. You can mow the lawn on a regular schedule and by never cutting off more than ⅓ of grass at a time. You may also want to try to correct how often and how much you are watering. To treat the lawn of this you will need to apply a fungicide treatment. It may take a few times that season or multiple seasons before this fungus is completely gone. 

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