Anthracnose


Usually appearing in the late Summer and early Autumn, Anthracnose is a fungal disease that is characterised by individual strands of grass turning off colour, first to orange and then red, the result of the rotting of the plant rotting from the root upward. There are two forms of Anthracnose; basal rot and foliar blight, with the former more likely to strike during the cold and wet of Winter, and the latter being a problem during the warmer months of Summer.

Favoured Conditions

  • The grass species known as ‘annual meadow grass’ is particularly susceptible
  • Compacted turf that cannot ‘breathe’
  • Low levels of soil fertility
  •  Continually wet soil (basal rot)

Prevention

Thankfully Anthracnose isn’t usually as problematic as some other lawn diseases and you shouldn’t need to use any chemical intervention to cure it. If it does occur it’s worth trying one or more of the following:

  • Feed the lawn correctly- make sure adequate nutrition is present, but don’t overdo it on the nitrogen based fertilisers or else you risk other much more severe conditions such as Fusarium Patch from taking hold
  • Aerate the lawn to reduce compacted turf, better allowing nutrients and water to seep into the soil
  • Use techniques such as top dressing to improve drainage

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