Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia homeocarpa)
Dollar Spot Disease
Dollar Spot is identified as small yellow or straw coloured spots on the lawn, about the size of a dollar coin. Dollar Spot lawn disease is most noticeable anytime from Spring through to Autumn. In the early morning dew, a fine spider web like substance (called mycelium) can be seen on the turf in the affected area.
Dollar Spot disease is caused by a pathogen which attacks the leaves of the grass, and is usually a symptom of an unhealthy lawn, low in Nitrogen and Potassium, and poor lawn management practices.
Cultural Management Of Dollar Spot
Environmental conditions must be right for the Dollar Spot pathogen to take hold and for Dollar Spot disease to flourish. The same conditions that causes a lawn disease to flourish, usually causes a weakness in the turf, making the disease strong and the turf too weak to fight it. With proper lawn care and cultural management of our lawns we want to create an unfriendly environment for the disease so it won't take hold, and if it does, to reverse the situation.
Dollar Spot Disease
Water lawns only in the morning. We don't want a lot of moisture sitting in the thatch layer overnight during warmer weather.
Mow regularly and control excessive growth habits to reduce the build-up of thatch, and vertimow when necessary to remove any thatch build-up.
Low Nutrient Levels
Fertilise all year round with a quality, balanced fertiliser in small amounts applied regularly.
Cut back surrounding bushes or trees to allow a lot more direct sunlight to the area.
Monitor compaction, and rectify human patterns causing quick compaction. Core or aerate the lawn when required.
Prevention From Spreading
Do not walk over the area or move garden hoses or anything else over the affected area.
Wash mowing equipment with a diluted bleach mix after mowing, to kill the disease causing pathogen.
Dollar Spot Eradication
The easiest way to treat Dollar Spot disease is to begin a proper fertilising program immediately, and bring cultural management practices in line with proper standards. Water levels should be monitored, as excess water will increase the problem.
A healthy lawn with correct nutrient levels can rid our lawns of Dollar Spot.
Chemical treatment with a fungicide to kill Dollar Spot is not considered necessary, although it can be purchased.