Correct management rather than use of chemicals is the key to controlling most diseases in home lawns.
Leaf spot and melting out disease in bluegrass lawns is a good example. One of the most common of the bluegrass problems, this fungus-caused disease is most active in the spring after cool, moist weather. PHOTO
Leaf spot is the disease's first stage. Elliptical-shaped spots are surrounded by a dark purple border. Tissue in the center of the spot may die and turn beige or straw-colored. If the spot extends across the leaf, the blades wither and dies.
As the disease progresses, the fungus works its way to the plant's base and attacks the roots and crown. Basal tissues near the ground become dark brown and rot. This is the melting-out stage when grass gradually thins and melts out the diseased area. The turf appears yellowish, thin and shabby with irregular patches of dead grass.
Non-chemical controls will promote a healthy lawn and help prevent melting out and other turf diseases.
When controlling any type of disease, insect or weed problem, find out what you may or may not be doing to encourage pests. Contact your local Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office for information.
Photograph courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010