Take-All Root Rot in Lawns
Take-All Root Rot: A Lawn Repair Study
Take-All Root Rot, or patch, (TARR) is a fungal disease that can kill an established lawn. TARR can be difficult for most homeowners to diagnose it its early stages because often it appears just like simple chlorosis. Chlorosis occurs when there are nutrient deficiencies that prevent the production of chlorophyll in plant leaves, causing them to turn yellow. When you see irregular patches of chlorosis in your lawn, it could actually be TARR - whereas a nutrient deficiency tends to turn the lawn uniformly yellow. TARR is also often mis-diagnosed as chinch bug damage. There is no proven effective chemical treatment or preventative for TARR, so if maintenance practices are left unchecked, you can lose your entire lawn.
TARR usually infects St. Augustine and Bermudagrass lawns, but it can also infect Zoysia, Fescue, Perennial Rye. TARR is most active fall through spring, when temperatures are more moderate and rainfall and humidity is high, and temperatures are in the 60-65 degree F range. There are many factors that contribute to the fungal disease thriving in your lawn. High soil pH, excess nitrogen fertilizer, environmental stress and soil compaction, and frequent shallow watering on the lawn contributes to increasing the disease pressure. The fungal disease can then be spread from lawn to lawn by lawnmowers and other equipment.
How to Treat TARR
The best way to suppress the TARR fungal disease in your lawn is through good maintenance practices. Soil aeration, soil feeding, bio-fungicides, and proper irrigation, are the best natural ways to minimize the impacts of TARR. Don't overfertilize your lawn with synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, and use a less-frequent but deeper watering regimen. Frequent shallow watering not only increases disease pressure in your lawn, but also causes the development of shallow weak root systems - making your lawn more susceptible to drought and any number of other pest and disease issues. Application of any bio-fungicides to suppress the fungal population are best done in spring and fall when the disease is most active.
Research by Texas A&M University shows that applying a light layer of either peat moss or a finely-screened finished organic compost to the lawn is also an effective way to reduce TARR disease pressure. These natural products help to slightly reduce pH in the soil, as well as feed beneficial microbes and improve aeration. As they break down they also supply low-levels of necessary nutrients to the soil.
*As an add-on service to the SEASONS Lawn Program when treating for TARR, we provide a 1/4-1/2" lawn topdressing of a highly processed, bio-inoculated finely-screened compost.
A TARR Success Story
This spring, over a 60-day period, we began helping two customers whose lawns were infected by TARR. Left untreated, these lawns would most likely have completely died, requiring complete renovation.
Our plan of action included our one-of-a-kind, customized SEASONS Lawn
Organic Bio-fertilization Program and additional Take-All Root Rot
treatments. With the SEASONS plan, we apply a minimum of 8 treatments
throughout the year. These organic treatments are applied both to the
foliage of plants and the soil with our liquid bio-fertilizer, plus
broadcasting of our dry organic granular bio-fertilizer. This special
combination of treatments builds a healthy bio-active soil for your
entire lawn and landscape.
In conjunction with the homeowners and their landscape companies, peat moss was also spread on the lawns.
By helping the homeowners adjust their watering and fertilizer regimen, and significantly improving the natural health and biome of the soil, we were able to significantly reduce disease pressure and improve lawn health.
We -and the homeowners - are very pleased with the excellent progress in just 60 days!
Our Organic SEASONS Granular Bio-fertilizer Products are custom blends of the highest quality ingredients available on the market. Our proprietary organic SEASONS Liquid Bio-Fertilizer is a one-of-a-kind product that we produce in-house, right here in DFW. Our ongoing laboratory research enables us to ensure you’re getting the most potent and microbe-rich applications to your lawn. Everything we do to improve the soil health of your lawn, also helps all surrounding landscape trees and shrub.
Posted: August 15, 2019