Tuesday, April 05, 2011

April Showers Bring Relief

Last week Central Florida received abundant rainfall between six to eight inches in a three day span. The ground soaked it up! This week, we will be seeing an additional one to three inches which will go a long way to catch up rainfall lacking so far this year.  Florida's rainy season is different than our Northern cousins. Our springtime and winter are our dry seasons. Florida receives most of its rainfall in the summer and fall with daily afternoon showers and our usual tropical storms and hurricanes.  We need these torrential rain storms to replenish our aquifer systems.  We shouldn't have to irrigate in the summertime if we have normal rainfall of an inch of water a week.  But with these rains, especially in low-lying areas or in yards that are irrigated too much, we will see turfgrass and plant diseases.  Treating these fungal and viral issues after we have diagnosed them is usually too late to apply the fungicides. Fungicides are preventive not curative.  So if you usually have disease in your landscape, make sure that your irrigation system is not your watering overhead and for long periods at night. Then check your irrigation system to ensure that its watering your turf efficiently.

Here are important publications from the University of Florida IFAS for diagnosis and solutions:

Homeowner's Guide to Fungicides for Lawn and Landscape Disease Management

Turfgrass Disease Management

Brown Patch Disease November through May - All warm season turfgrasses

Cercospora Leaf Spot Late spring and summer - St. Augustinegrass

Fairy Rings Any abundant rainfall - all warm season turfgrasses

Gray Leaf Spot Late spring and early fall or excessive rainfall - St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass

Helminthosporium Leaf Spot All year round - warm season turfgrasses

Pythium Root Rot - All year round - warm season turfgrasses

Rust - St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass - late fall to early spring.

Take All Root Rot - Summer to fall - all turfgrasses

We'll be discussing fungicides and disease issues on "In Your Backyard."  Call in!

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