Dealing with Dead Spots and Promoting Spring Recovery
If you have a Bermuda grass lawn, your turf may be susceptible to Spring Dead Spot. The disease attacks the roots and other key parts of the grass plant, killing the turf in infected areas.
The signs of Spring Dead Spot are not usually visible until the spring, but the infection began last fall when the lawn enters dormancy. The disease will be most severe during cold winters and cold springs. Lawns most susceptible to SDS are more established, less tolerant to cold weather, and with an accumulation of thatch. When lawns emerge from dormancy and start to green up, watch for dead areas that appear somewhat round and can range in size from several inches to several feet in diameter. The smaller areas appear sunken, bleached, and have no live grass inside. Larger areas may have some live grass in their centers, producing a “frog-eye” appearance. While the fungi that cause Spring Dead Spot are soil-borne and difficult to control, We can help recommend services to lessen the effects of the disease. These include enhancing the winter hardiness of the Bermuda grass by limiting nitrogen in the late summer and maintaining potassium levels; preventing thatch accumulation; and applying fungicides in the late summer or early fall, when the pathogens become active. For full recovery from cool weather stress and to promote green up, follow best practices for mowing and watering, and apply a spring fertilizer and weed control as needed.