Rust is usually associated with slow-growing turfgrass. It is especially severe on drought stressed sites and compacted soils where perennial ryegrass or bluegrass is growing slowly.
Rust is usually associated with slow-growing turfgrass. It is especially severe on drought stressed sites and compacted soils where perennial ryegrass or bluegrass is growing slowly and the disease is damaging leaf tissue faster then new leaf blades are being produced. Rust causes the turfgrass to take on a generally yellow to orange appearance, and symptoms are more evident when the weather is dry. The rust-colored tiny spores of the fungus rub off easily onto shoes, lawn mowers; pet's, fingers, and clothes etc. and can be a nuisance. This occurs because the fungus causes the epidermis of the leaf to rupture and release enormous amounts of spores which are orange/yellow/rusty in color.
If the disease has been a problem in the past most likely it will reoccur year after year. Newly seeded juvenile stands of perennial ryegrass (less than a year old) often have the disease more severely than mature established turfgrass lawns and spots fields. Management Strategies:
Prevention of the disease is important to be successful in control.
* Use blends of more resistant turfgrass cultivars. The National Turf Evaluation Program NTEP has free information on turfgrass cultivar quality & disease tolerance.
* Provide adequate water and fertilizer to keep the grass growing.
* Core aerate the site to improve water and fertilizer use by the plant reduce soil compaction and improve growth and health.
* Apply a preventative fungicide. Research at OSU has suggested that the sterol inhibitors and strobilurins show good to excellent efficacy (e.g. Bayleton, Eagle, Banner, Heritage, and Insignia are some produces to consider). The key is to apply preventative or at the on set of the disease. If a fungicide is applied once the disease is severe often results are disappointing.
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