TURF TIPS

Joe Rimelspach reported that turf pathologists are jumping for joy about the diversity of disease samples they have received, which could mean bad news for some lawn owners. The higher temperatures and humid, stormy weather has created conditions conducive to a slew of different turf diseases.


Joe Rimelspach and Todd Hicks, both with the OSU Department of Plant Pathology provided some excellent tips to ensure a successful establishment of renovation of a lawn in the buckeye state.


The 2014 OTF Turfgrass Research Field Day was a great combination of research findings and direct application of that knowledge to assist turfgrass managers to become better informed. From the golf courses to residential lawns, it was all covered and demonstrated out at the OTF/OSU Turfgrass facility.


Rust is a common fungal disease found on most species of grasses around the world.  Rust can be found early spring through fall depending on the location.  Yellow flecks on the leaf blades are the first signs of rust disease on turfgrass.  The yellow flecks enlarge which cause the leaf epidermis to rupture and release yellow-orange powdery spores.  These fungal spores easily get on shoes, mowers, and pets but are not harmful to humans or animals.  In severe incidences, infected grass can thin and individual shoots may die.


Joe Rimelspach, Turfgrass Pathology Ohio State University Extension Specialist, mentioned to the assembled group of BYGLers that DOLLAR SPOT, pathogen Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, has been a continuous battle this year on turfgrass. Although responsible for creating an impressive array of brownish-tan, silver dollar sized polka-dots on susceptible turf; thankfully, this fungus only blights the turfgrass leaf tissues but it does not directly affect the roots or crowns.


Joe Rimelspach and Todd Hicks (OSU Department of Plant Pathology) provide a helpful review of turf health and how the recent cool weather is making turf management a little easier.  They reported that anthracnose and dollar spot are still being sighted and samples are showing signs of mechanical damage. To view Joe and Todd's YouTube video report, click on the following weblink:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyAcL1TotKg&feature=youtu.be

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The range of weather challenges and current conditions of turfgrass this week across Ohio are pretty diverse and striking. Amy Stone reported that in the Toledo area, with the prevailing dry conditions, the turf has already shut down and gone into summer dormancy. To endure environmental extremes, like the lack of moisture and/or hot, sunny days with daytime temperatures in the low to mid-80F, cool season turf adopts the approach of avoidance!

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Joe Rimelspach reported that yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) is flourishing in many Ohio lawns. Nutsedges do best during the warm months of summer. Most grasses used in Ohio lawns are cool-season plants meaning that high temperatures stunt their growth; they are at a disadvantage when competing head-to-head with warm-season plants. This is particularly a problem in lawns with thinning stands of turfgrass.

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It just depends on where you live. This phrase was evident in hearing everyone's reports on BYGL this week regarding the quality of the turfgrass, especially in non-irrigated sites throughout the buckeye state. Joe Rimelspach began his report by saying that he has never seen lawns in certain central Ohio areas look so good in July.

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Rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis) is considered a major grassy weed on lawns, golf courses, and sports fields because of its invasive nature, patch-like growth pattern, and habit of going dormant in the summer. This non-native grass spreads by stolons (above ground stems) and grows in thick patches of light-green blades that arise from a dense, multi-layered mat of new and old stolons. The thick mat of stolons prevents the establishment and growth of preferred turf grasses within the patch.

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