Take-All Root Rot and Arizona Sod Lawns
Struggling with lawn disease can be one of the most frustrating aspects of maintaining a nice Arizona sod lawn. Relatively recently a lawn disease was discovered that can take some time and effort to diagnose and treat. It is known as Take-All.
Take-all root rot, otherwise known as Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis was originally identified in 1998 by a Mississippi State University disease research team. According to Dr. Terry Trevathan and Ms. Maria Petersen, the disease resembles simple brown patch. At first it may seem like a trouble with irrigation and fertilization, but after some time trying to treat it, it becomes clear that something else is amiss.
Take-all is characterized by easily being able to rip out clumps of grass from the ground that would otherwise be much more tightly held down by a strong root system. Take-all essentially destroys the root systems of all types of grass, and by the time you see problems above ground, the damage has been done. It is important to know that irrigation can be a huge propagator of the disease, and stress helps further it. Lawns weakened by weather stress can more easily succumb to the disease.
Here are some tips to manage the disease if you are sure that you have become a victim:
1. Eliminate excessive irrigation. This can be one of the number one problems.
2. Avoid too much lime and keep a soil ph balance of 5.5 to 6
3. Only remove 1/3 of the height of the lawn at a time when mowing
4. Maintain potassium levels in lawn, as lawns that lack potassium seem to be more susceptible
5. Few fungicides available can control take-all, but Immunox can do an ok job when the fungis has just started out. So make sure to attack early
Following this simple advice should make take-all more difficult to take hold on your Arizona sod lawn. If you cannot reverse take-all, then you must remove it. Make sure to dig down at least 6 inches (past the root structures) and 1 ½ to 2 feet around the diseased portion of grass.
Evergreen Turf is an Arizona sod company that has become the major sod provider not just for homeowners and landscapers, but for Arizona’s demanding golf courses and sports facilities.