Management of lawn and ornamental issues vary with each season.
Proper diagnosis and chemical application is important to create a healthy and vibrant landscape
throughout the year. Southern Care Lawns has the experience and expertise to properly diagnosis
and treat the wide variety of issues that affect your landscape. Contact us today for a free evaluation and quote. We are here to help.
When we get a freeze you may see a checkered pattern like the picture to the left. This will grow out when warmer temperatures return and fertilizer is added to help promote growth.
Brown Patch Fungus
This disease is most likely to be observed from November through May when temperatures are below 80°F. It is not normally observed in the summer. Infection is triggered by rainfall, excessive irrigation, or extended periods of high humidity resulting in the blades being continuously wet for 48 hours or more. Our fungicides will help stop the spread but only if the infected area can dry out. It will take time to fully recover, though usually not until spring when turf is actively growing again.
Shot Hole Fungus
Holes in ornamental plants are likely shot hole fungus, a very common issue with prunus species in our climate. It is only cosmetic and is not significant enough of a problem to treat. It has nothing to do with the type of mulch you use, although the fungal spores carried on fallen leaves can persist over winter if you don’t rake and clean up properly. The majority of fungi associated with decomposition are beneficial to plants in the long run and not disease carrying or pathogenic organisms.
Shot hole is a fungal disease which attacks leaves, buds, blossoms, fruits, and twigs. On hibiscus, the fungus often infects and kills buds, which may be covered with a shiny, gummy material. Lesions on leaves and flowers are initially small purplish areas which expand into brown spots with light centres. The lesions are seldom larger than 1/4″ in diameter. The infected spots on leaves often die and drop out in warm weather, giving leaves a “shot hole” appearance. Spores are easily spread by water.
Management options for shot hole fungus would be to avoid overhead watering, prune and destroy dead buds and cankered twigs if present, rake and destroy infected leaves and pace plantings and prune to provide good air circulation.
You would think by the name we would be talking about a slimy, gooey condition on the grass. Actually, slime mood often appears as if ashes or oil was deposited on the grass. Closer examination reveals a granular, crusty, or powdery material moving up the blades of grass from the thatch and soil surface.
The good news is that slime mood is not harmful to grass, but because it is so visible, it creates concern. Most of its life cycle is unseen, breaking down and feeding on organic matter in the thatch and on the surface of the soil. When environmental conditions are just right, it goes from its vegetative state to a reproductive mode. This is when the light colored to dark tray to black spore masses become visible. It moves up any type of support, in this case grass blades, and turns into a large mass of spores that are then blown in the wind and transported in runoff water. The spores easily rub off on your shoes or hand when touched. Though it is unsightly, slime mold does no harm, and can be washed or swept off the grass. No fungicides are required.
Gray Leaf Spot
A common problem we encounter in early summer on St. Augustine grass is a leaf spot disease called Gray Leaf Spot. Gray leaf spot develops rapidly with abundant moisture and warn temperatures on St. Augustine grass. It is especially troublesome in shaded areas that remain damp for prolonged periods of time, in low lying spots, or where water runoff flows regularly. Under these conditions, the disease can cause serious thinning of the turf.
Leaf spots first appear as tiny brown to ash colored spots with purple to brown margins that enlarge and become elongated or diamond-shaped. Sections of the leaf blade will also turn yellow. In severe cases, lesions develop on stems and spikes and the leaves wither and die. Turfgrass may have a burned or scorched appearance resulting from death or spotting of the leaf blades.
Management of leaf spot would be to avoid applying high rates of soluble nitrogen fertilisers on moderately shaded lawns during summer months. Water lawn early in the morning and only when supplemental water is needed. Avoid evening watering that keep the leaf surface wet for long periods of time. Catch grass clippings where fray leaf spot is a problem.