Seeing Spots?  Could be the Lawn…

If you’re seeing spots before your eyes, it could be some sort of dizziness syndrome, or it could be that you’re looking at your lawn, and it’s got a particular fungus disease…which shows up as spots.  Actually, there are several lawn maladies that show up as spots, but one in particular, especially at this time of year – Dollar Spot.

In home lawns, the symptoms are bleached white tufts of grass about the size of a baseball.  On closely cut turf such as golf course tees and fairways, it looks the same, except the spots are – wait for it – the size of a silver dollar, hence the name.  Close up leaf inspection shows the tell-tale symptom of green leaves with bleached spots on them, bordered by an ashy-brown color.  It looks like someone spent time applying small drops of bleach in a pattern across the lawn.

Weather conditions that bring on dollar spot infection are cool moist conditions followed by warm to hot conditions.  In 2022, mid to late June has been the timeframe. 

If you have dollar spot in your lawn, you have 3 options:

  1. Do nothing other than normal yard maintenance, keeping the lawn mowed when it grows to be 30 to 40% taller than the base height and the soil moisture in the moist, not soggy or dry range.  The infection will rage for a month or so, cause a little thinning and the eventual weather changes will bring on other problems and disfavor dollar spot.
  2. Do all of the above and apply about a third rate of a quick release lawn fertilizer.  Dollar spot tends to be more common in under-fertilized lawns.
  3. Do 1&2, plus apply a foliar fungicide such as propaconizole or myclobutanil.  Apply it to the grass blades between mowings, so that the lawn produces a little growth for it to stick to and then can remain on the leaves for a few days before it’s time to mow it off.  Read and follow all label directions.

As well, as with all lawn issues, it’s wise to add this information to your knowledge bank and make future decisions accordingly.


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