What is Dollar Spot?
Dollar spot (Sclerotina homeocarpa) is a very common fungal disease that infects even the best lawns. Dollar spot grow on the blades and leaves of grass stalks. Unlike other lawn diseases, dollar spot occurs during all seasons because it can grow in a range of temperatures. Though it thrives in moist humid air, it can spread in temperatures that range from 56 to 86 degrees.
Dollar Spot Signs and Symptoms
Dollar spot appears as small, round patches, usually resembling the size of a silver dollar. They can grow to more than six inches wide. Dollar spot becomes easier to recognize when closely inspected because blades exhibit several symptoms. White mycelium grows on the affected area in the morning and fades to a brown-tannish color after sun exposure. The blade will have an hourglass shaped lesion which helps with identification.
Dollar Spot Prevention
Dollar Spot usually infects grass experiencing excessive stress. To prevent dollar spot take the following precautions:
- Aeration: Grass is less susceptible to dollar spot when its roots are strong.
- Nitrogen fertilization: nitrogen will help to reduce dollar spot occurrences.
Fertilizer programs that Velvet Green offers help to prevent and mitigate dollar spot through moderate nitrogen and beneficial microorganisms. Good cultural practices such as proper watering, mowing height (3-4 inches), sharpened mower blades, reducing thatch and compacation (aeration), and reducing leaf wetness when possible. Amendments offered by Velvet Green based on the results of soil testing can improve soil structure thus further helping to mitigate dollar spot.