An outbreak of Microdochium Patch fungus has been observed in the Thurston County area and has infected lawns that have had recent preventive fungicide treatments. For the past several years two preventive treatments applied during the fall and early winter have controlled the disease satisfactorily with only a small number of lawns needing a third treatment. That is not the case this year. Matt Parascand, graduate soil scientist and field advisor with the Wilbur-Ellis Co. sums up the situation below;
“…Mycrodochium Patch thrives in the ideal-temperatures range from 32 degrees to 40 degrees F. This lawn fungus remains active up to 60 degrees F. Up to now we have not experienced intermittent below freezing temperatures that naturally keep this lawn fungal disease in check. Fungicide application will only slow down or stop this disease for up to 30 days without the help of climatic conditions. Previous applications of fungicides will reduce the overall damage associated with this fungus by breaking the cycle, however without the below freezing temperatures needed to shift out of the diseases favorable range, additional fungicide treatments may be necessary based on the level of tolerance to damage associated with current or future outbreaks of this disease.”
Matthew L. Parascand
Certified Crop Advisor
Matt is a seasoned professional in both golf and ornamental turf management, and we appreciate his input and trust his recommendations. At this point we are monitoring our customers lawns and noting those with evidence of new infection. We may recommend a third treatment as soon as next week if conditions remain conducive to the spread of the disease. Please check your lawn and call us if you see symptoms like those shown on the photos. Timing is critical to control and early infection treatments will limit damage and encourage rapid recovery. However, due to the unusual circumstances we cannot predict the need for the number of future treatments needed for control.
If your lawn hasn’t been treated and you see symptoms like those in the pictures, give us a call and we’ll be glad to visit your landscape and confirm if the disease is present. We can apply treatments that will minimize the damage and stop further infection. Left untreated, lawns may not recover and require over-seeding in the spring. We certainly hope the weather changes to more typical freezing cycles so this disease quiets down.