Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Disease Profile: Southern Blight

I receive many questions about these types of spots on the golf course. So to explain what you are seeing on the course, 'Disease Profiles' will be a regular segment of this blog as we go through different seasons. The patches you see here are the result of a disease called southern blight. The fungus attacks cool season grasses like poa annua and perennial ryegrass, and can sometimes harm bermudagrass. This photo was taken on #18 fairway in August of 2006. Since then we have been spraying a chemical called Prostar once we first notice the disease. Other areas that have experienced some damage include #2 tee, #2 fairway, #4 tee, and a few green surrounds. The product that controls this disease is very expensive so we will only treat the high profile areas. Every soil harbors many fungi that are just waiting for the right conditions to infect a plant. Our job in the maintenance department is to make the turf strong enough to resist disease and to recover from damage.