Spring Dead Spot is a lawn disease which is unique to Couch Grasses, and is most noticeable by the often round dead spots it leaves on lawns. The round dead patches in the lawn will become most noticeable when they reach a size of around 10-15 cm, from this small size Spring Dead Spot can continue to grow outwards, increasing it's diameter. up to around a metre in total.
The life-cycle of Spring Dead Spot begins in Autumn, however at this time of the year it is often unnoticeable, as the damage cause begins as a yellowing in the circles affected, which is then often camouflaged into the lawn as the turf itself begins losing some of it's darker colour as the weather cools down.
The lawn disease will become dormant over winter, with the affected areas of turf often still unnoticeable. Once Spring arrives, Spring Dead Spot will actively come to life, rapidly killing off the areas of lawn affected and spreading at a rather fast rate.
Once Spring Dead Spot is finally confirmed, the disease has spread over much of the lawn with many circles or irregular shaped patches of dead or dying areas on the lawn's surface.
Spring Dead Spot is often a very difficult lawn disease to control and to kill. It will require both a treatment with a lawn fungicide, as well as cultural management practices to finally eliminate it from the lawn.
The lawn fungicide will usually be sprayed by a professional spraying contractor in February or March, he can then further advise as to the best other methods of treatment the homeowner should undertake.
Cultural Management of Spring Dead Spot simply covers everything else we can do with our lawn care to encourage the lawn thrive and be healthy. A healthy lawn will help fight off Spring Dead Spot and simply out-compete it for resources, and help destroy it in the process.
Cultural Management also involves making the lawn far less hospitable for the lawn disease to exist in. The things we can do to make the lawn stronger will also make the lawn disease weaker.
Cultural Management of Spring Dead Spot includes:
Water: Water only in the morning, this is of the greatest benefit to lawns, and watering at night is of greatest benefit to all lawn diseases as it gives them a dark, moist environment to thrive in.
Lawn Aeration: Excessive moisture continues to be the greatest friend to lawn disease, if the soil is holding onto to excessive amounts of water, without it dissipating in a regular manner, then lawn coring to aerate the soil will aid it in letting water flow away from the soil more freely.
Thatch: The thatch layer in lawns is an excellent breeding ground for lawn disease, and the thicker it gets, the more prone the lawn becomes to poor health, as well as encouraging and nurturing lawn diseases. Lawns will need to be de-thatched to help kill Spring Dead Spot.
Shade: Lawn diseases love the shade and lawns hate it. Prune back all surrounding bushes and trees to increase sunlight to the lawn as much as possible.
Soil pH: A soil pH test should be done and acidity / alkalinity levels adjusted as necessary.