What is Take-All Root Rot?
Take-All Root Rot is a fungal disease that lives in the soil and attacks turf when conditions are favorable. Most commonly found in St. Augustine lawns, it can also be found in Bermuda and even Zoysia lawns.
What causes Take-All Root Rot?
Take-All Root Rot is caused by the fungal pathogen Geaumannomyces graminis and is found in soil in B/CS, NW Houston, and throughout Texas. Less-than favorable conditions that allow for this attack on turf include:
- Mild winter weather
- Temperature extremes
- Excessive rain during cool periods of the year
- Heavy clay soils
- Poor drainage
- Compacted soils
- Nighttime irrigation schedules
- Septic spray heads
- Excessive shade
What are the symptoms of root rot?
*Image of take-all root rot up close yellow and dying grass with exposed roots.
Symptoms of Take-all root rot are less apparent before the grass begins greening up, but become quite noticeable during the spring as the lawn comes back to life. As the disease continues to progress throughout your lawn, pale or yellowing areas affected will turn brown and eventually die if not addressed. During this process, runners become weak and vulnerable in these areas and the grass seems quite slow-growing or nearly non-existent.
How to fight root rot?
Unfortunately, Take-all root rot is a common issue in our area. The goal is to mitigate symptoms the best we can in order for the lawn to remain healthy, thick and green. In order to confront this issue, we recommend the following steps:
- Apply high-quality fungicides specifically labeled for control or suppression of Take-all Root Rot in the spring and fall as symptoms persist
- Aerate the turf in the spring and fall as needed
- Apply lower rates of Nitrogen, with higher rates of micronutrients and Potassium and Magnesium in areas showing signs or symptoms.
- Limit the rate and use of herbicides in areas showing signs or symptoms.
Aggieland Green has successfully managed Take-All Root Rot in many lawns in our area over the years. We have the expertise to help our customers with this problem before it destroys their lawns. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!