Don't get fooled by the time of the year, we received samples of Fusarium patch / pink snow mold (Microdochium nivale) form southwest Ohio last week (April 21-23). The course said they have never had a winter with a longer period of snow cover, which may explain a build up of inoculum. With spring green-up, all looked well until about 5 -7 days ago. Patchy areas of declining turf started to develop. Samples were taken and wrapped in paper and left over night, which lead to he growth of extensive mycelium on the turf (Photo 1). The samples in the clinic had abundant spores on dead and dying foliage.
If cool wet weather continues this disease will most likely develop. Both bentgrass and annual bluegrass can be affected. On greens the annual bluegrass is often affected first. When the disease is active symptoms may be in patches or streaks appearing an orangish to rust color. As the disease progresses the infected turf may turn a yellow or tan color. Also the disease can be easily moved in water and tracked on equipment during wet conditions, at time appears to be similar to pythium. The disease may occur throughout the spring and late spring.
The turf will often recover with consistent warm temperatures, which promote turf growth. With cool weather approaching this weekend be on the lookout. Iprodione (Chipco 26GT®) is often the fungicide of choice to manage this disease in the spring. Authors: Joseph Rimelspach
Copyright OSU Buckeye Turf Program. Website manager: Dr. Tim Rhodus