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Dollar Spot Treatment and Prevention

Summer is here, and with it, an array of turf diseases that thrive in higher temperatures, the most common of which being dollar spot.

June 28, 2023

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What is Dollar Spot?

Dollar spot is a common foliar disease caused by the fungus Clarireedia Jacksonii that affects a wide variety of lawn types. 

Signs of Dollar Spot
Knowing the signs and symptoms of dollar spot allows you begin taking corrective measures to restore your turf at the first sign of infection. Dollar spot can be characterized by small, circular spots roughly the size of a silver dollar, hence the disease’s name. The lesions initially present as yellow-green spots and later deepen to a straw-colored lesion with a reddish-brown margin. The lesions can be anywhere between a half an inch to 6 inches in diameter, depending on the height of the grass stalk. The infection expands outward, with the smaller areas merging to form larger patches of diseased turf. Removing these infected patches of turf can help to prevent the entirety of your lawn from being overtaken by the disease. White Mycelia, thread like webbing caused by the casual fugus, occasionally grows on diseased leaves in the morning when dew is most commonly present. 

Dollar Spot Development 
Dollar spot thrives when humidity and temperature levels are high. According to N.C State University, the disease begins to infect turf in the spring when nighttime temperatures exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit, however, leaves may not begin displaying signs of infection until later in the season. Disease activity persists throughout the summer but begins to slow its spread as temperatures continuously exceed 90 degrees.  Dollar spot requires continuous periods of leaf wetness, so the heavy dews accompanying late spring and early summer are most conducive to its growth. Turfgrasses lacking the proper nutrients, especially nitrogen, are most susceptible to dollar spot, and recover at a slower rate than turf that is well fertilized (Turffiles, NC State). 

Ways to Combat Dollar Spot
If you find yourself having to deal with dollar spot, there are several things you can do to combat it.

  • Maintaining a healthy lawn is key in preventing and combating dollar spot. Regular mowing, proper fertilization and irrigation are all crucial. However, dollar spot can be spread by mowing and foot traffic, so if it is suspected, treat the area and allow the treatment time to activate before you resume regular mowing.
  • Moist environments are conducive to dollar spot growth, so it’s important to ensure your customers’ soil is draining properly.
  • Be deliberate about when you water your customers’ lawns. Doing so in the morning allows the turf to dry out during the day and prevents a buildup of moisture.
  • Remove infected turf and treat with fungicide at your earliest convenience to prevent the further spread of disease. 
  • Regularly inspect your customers’ lawns, as early detection allows for early action.

Fungicide application is an additional way to control persistent dollar spot problems, especially in their early stages. Dollar spot should be treated at the first sign of infection. Preventative fungicide application is not generally necessary, since contact treatment is very effective, but programs implemented in the spring produce the best outcomes. When applying the fungicide, ensure a uniform spray coverage, as this will maximize its effectiveness. It’s also important to note that fungicide resistance has been found in the pathogen for forty years, so be sure to closely follow label directions and refrain from continuously using active ingredients in the same fungicide class. 

Consider LESCO Flash, a FRAC group 3 fungicide 
LESCO Flash contains flutriafol, a breakthrough active ingredient that’s been proven to provide 21-day control of dollar spot. It is absorbed through the roots and shoots and translocated through the xylem faster than any active ingredient in its class, providing you with complete plant protection. LESCO Flash is rain fast within two hours, provides flexibility with irrigation, and can be used on a wide range of turf diseases. The fungicide can also be used as a preventative treatment, saving you time and money down the line by reducing the need for restorative measures.

Armada 50 WDG Fungicide
Armada 50 WDG is another choice to consider. Formulated with both triadimefon and trifloxystrobn, it offers protection against even the toughest turf diseases. Its broad-spectrum control reduces the need to carry multiple products, saving you time and effort which are valuable assets to any growing business. You can use Armada 50 WDG to treat an array of lawn types, including turf-grass, sod farms, sports fields, parks, and ornamental interiorscapes. Armada can also treat up to 50,000 sq ft, making it an ideal choice for large scale turf installations.

Help from SiteOne
If you have any further questions about turf diseases or which products would be most beneficial at your jobsite, ask your local SiteOne branch associates for a LESCO turf calendar. For more educational articles, look through our agronomics Learn section

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