Bermuda Grass Problems

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Bermuda grass is a popular choice for lawns
Bermuda grass is a popular choice for lawns (Image: front lawn image by Tracy Horning from Fotolia.com)

Many home owners choose Bermuda grass to cover their lawns due to its hardy nature and rich green coloring. There are however, many diseases and problems with Bermuda grass. Most problems with Bermuda lawns can be easily identified and remedied over a period of time using simple lawn treatments.

Types

Brown patch is a fungus disease that starts off as a small brown patch of grass and quickly spreads outward in a circle around the infected area. The most unique trait of this disease is the green patch that is found in the center of the infected area. Spring dead spot areas are noted as small round spots that are dark and rotted. The roots in the affected areas appear to be rotten as well. Leaf spot can affect Bermuda grass and appears on the leaf blade and stem. Dollar spot is a disease that affects Bermuda grass in small clusters. Powdery mildew appears on the entire surface of the grass and is caused by an overabundance of fertilizer in an area that received too much shade and little air circulation.

Identification

Brown patch will appear as a doughnut shape with a brown circle surrounding a small patch of green. Spring dead rot looks like small patches of rotten grass. These areas will grow back through the summer; but will do so very slowly. The spots appear as straw-colored areas that are edged with a purple ring. Dollar spot appears in small round patches where the grass dies off and turns light brown and straw like. Powdery mildew can be identified as a powdery substance that looks as if it has been dusted on the grass.

Prevention/Solution

Brown spot can be prevented with an application of a fungicide during the spring. It is important to correctly identify brown spot before applying fungicides because other things, like gasoline spills, are sometimes responsible for similar patches. In order to prevent spring dead rot, the lawn must be treated with a fungicide in late summer or autumn, and can only be treated when the old areas are still visible. Leaf spot can be found in lawns that have a lower potassium level and can be prevented by adding potassium to the soil. Dollar spot is caused by lower nitrogen levels in the soil and can be prevented by adding a nitrogen-based fertilizer into the soil. Powdery mildew can be prevented by using less fertilizer in shaded areas.

Considerations

If your Bermuda grass has a lot of problems, consider hiring a grass and soil expert to come and look at your lawn. The grass expert can help you identify the problems in your lawn and find solutions to prevent future problems.

Time Frame

Most Bermuda grass problems appear in the spring or summer. In some cases the prevention measures are best implemented in the fall, but usually the solution can be applied during the spring or summer when the problem is most apparent.

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