|Learn about the disease balance
What is disease?
Disease is the disruption of normal growth and appearance of a turfgrass plant owing to the interaction of the plant with a pathogen (usually a fungus). Pathogens are almost always present in the environment.
When does disease occur?
Disease occurs when environmental conditions favor the pathogen. Plants under stress are more susceptible to disease than unstressed plants.
What practices help the environment?
- Provide adequate drainage. (Minimize low spots.)
- Plant disease-resistant species or cultivars.
- Avoid overfertilization. (Follow label directions.)
- Reduce leaf wetness. (Water in early morning.)
- Maintain adequate air movement. (Remove underbrush.)
- Avoid watering in the evening.
How does disease affect water quality?
Disease can ultimately kill the grass plants, leaving bare soil that is more prone to runoff and erosion. Chemicals, if misapplied, can pollute runoff or leach into groundwater.
How can I reduce or prevent disease?
The best strategy is to promote a healthy, dense stand of turfgrass that can
best cope with stress and thus resist disease pressures. By the time you see the
disease it is likely too late to provide effective control. However, many
disease-resistant cultivars can be planted to minimize future problems.