Leaf Spot / Melting-Out

Drechslera spp. and/or Bipolaris spp.

Turf Disease

Susceptible turfgrasses: Creeping red fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and some varieties of bentgrass and Bermuda grass.

South Africa Golf Turf Care Treating Leaf Spot Melting Out

Leaf spot (melting-out) causes purplish-brown to black spots with tan centers on the leaf blade and sheath. The lower leaves of the infected plants become shriveled and blighted. When melting-out infection is severe, almost all of the leaves and tillers die, causing severe thinning of the stand-or melting-out. On cool-weather turfgrass, melting-out typically follows the appearance of leaf spots.

Conditions favouring disease
Leaf spot is more commonly found when temperatures reach between 4°C and 26°C and in areas that experience more than 10 hours of foliar wetness daily for several days. It also favours high amounts of nitrogen and a low mowing height.

Integrated turf management

  • Increase the height of cut.

  • Reduce turf stress by using lightweight equipment.

  • Avoid the application of high rates of water-soluble nitrogen in the spring.

  • Minimise the amount of shade.

  • Irrigate turf deeply and as infrequently as possible.

  • Reduce thatch in the early spring or autumn for cool-season turfgrass and in the summer for warm-season turfgrass.

Fungicidal control
BannerDaconil WeatherStik and Heritage have label recommendations for leaf spot/melting out in South Africa.

Bipolaris and Drechslera (previously classified as Helminthosporium fungi). Helminthosproium spp. are on the Daconil label.

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