Managing Cool-Season Lawn Grasses to Minimize Disease Severity
The relationship among environmental conditions, turfgrass plants, and pathogens as they interact with one another are the key factors involved in disease development. The key to an effective lawn disease management program begins with planting regionally adapted, disease-resistant species and cultivars of turfgrasses. Planting improved cultivars alone does not eliminate disease problems from lawns. However, proper mowing, fertility, and irrigation practices can greatly minimize the severity of numerous fungal diseases of lawn grasses. Disease susceptibility in turf is primarily governed by environmental and cultural factors associated with turfgrass management. Weather conditions obviously cannot be manipulated, but cultural practices can be adapted to reduce disease problems. Proper soil fertility improves plant vigor and the ability of plants to resist or recover from disease. This chapter lists out basic principles of managing cool-season lawn grasses to minimize damage caused by common fungal pathogens.