How to Cure Leaf Blight in Grass- No Chemicals Required – Organo Lawn

Hi I’m Brad Wolfe with Organo-Lawn and
today we’re going to talk about a lawn fungus that many people call dollar spot
but its real name is Ascochyta leaf blight. Ascochyta leaf blight is a minor stress fungus that appears in lawns when the temperatures
change from cool to hot weather. Ascochyta appears in the lawn about 10 days after a sudden increase in temperatures and it changes the lawn from a vibrant
green color to a lawn that is blotchy straw-colored and sickly looking. The
worst time of year for Ascochyta outbreaks, is typically from June through
August when the outside temperatures are the hottest. The best way to identify
Ascochyta is to go to the area of the lawn where it is changing from green to
brown and find a blade of grass that is in transition. You will see the middle of
the blade of grass is brown the top is green and the bottom will be green as
well. It is also common to see the blade of grass collapsed in half through the
entire vertical plane. Another symptom of Ascochyta is you might find some purple
discoloration in the blade of grass as well. Ascochyta is a symptom of a
problem and this minor stress fungus is telling us that the grasses roots are
shallow. How do I know that short grass roots are the cause of the problem? I’ve
seen thousands of cases of Ascochyta and every time I see one, I take a core
sample using my soil sampler. 100% percent of the time when I take one of
these core samples, the grass roots will only be one to four inches deep. A normal
and healthy grass root depth is somewhere between 6 and 12 inches deep.
The leaf blight will develop in lawns with shallow digging roots, because the
grass cannot handle the transition from cool wet weather in the spring to the
hot dry weather in the summer. If the entire lawn has shallow grass roots
Ascochyta will take over everywhere. If there are only a few spots of Ascochyta in the lawn this is a clear indication of poor sprinkler coverage. So
what causes the grass roots to stay so shallow? 95% of the time the cause of
short grass roots is improper lawn watering. We usually see Ascochyta in
lawns that are being watered for a short time period on a daily basis. This
shallow and frequent lawn watering teaches the grasses roots to stay
shallow because the water is only in the top few inches of the soil. It is kind of
counter intuitive, but short grass roots can also be caused by severe over
watering. The reason for this is because water replaces air in the soil and
without oxygen the grass roots will stay shallow. If you have a Ascochyta leaf
blight in your lawn the fix is pretty simple and the good news is your lawn
won’t die. When we diagnose a lawn with Ascochyta we always audit the sprinkler system and program the system to water properly
according to the principles of the 1-2-3-2-1 lawn watering technique.
This lawn watering technique will train your grass roots to grow deep into the
soil and if your grass has deep digging roots,
Ascochyta will never develop in your lawn. After we program the sprinkler
system properly we’re going to water the lawn for three straight days to bring
the lawn out of its stressed-out state and after the three consecutive days of
watering, we will return to either one day, two days, or three days a week of
watering based on the time of year. Lastly if your grass roots are shallow
because of compacted soils, severe clay, or hard-pan, we also recommend a core
aeration in the fall and an application or two of our humate soil conditioner. To
learn more about Ascochyta leaf blight or the 1-2-3-2-1 lawn watering
technique, please visit you

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