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maintenanceguy
06-09-2007, 10:10 PM
I've got a football field that's being used for graduation next Wednesday and it looks like crap.

Here's what happened:

I supervise the maintenance department and grounds department for a pretty good size school system in NJ. For some background: I'm a maintenance supervisor that inherited the grounds department a few years ago. I've taken a few classes, read a lot and lurked here most evenings but I'm not expert on turf diseases.

I was driving by the football field 8 days ago on a Friday. I noticed a few small browning spots on the KBG field.

I told one of my guys to check all the sprinkler heads the following monday to make sure they were rotating a full 360 and to fertilize the field so everything would be nice and green for graduation a week and a half later. I left for a weeks vacation the following Monday (last monday). I assumed all would be fine.

I got a call today (Saturday a week and a day later) that the field looks pretty bad. I stopped by the field and it does look pretty bad. My best guess is leaf rust but, as I said, I'm not an expert in turf diseases. It's been hot and we've been irrigating every night. We can't irrigate in the morning because phys ed classes use the track and an adjoining field during the day.

I keep Daconil Zn and Subdue on the shelf for emergencies We've been cutting high this time of year about 3-1/2 inches. We have to cut lower during the sports season to satisfy the coaching staff but over the summer we let it go long.

I'd like your opinion on a strategy I've come up with:

First fertilize with a liquid fertilizer tomorrow (Sunday) morning and hope like heck that we can get a couple of inches of growth in the next 4 days to have some green showing next Wednesday night if we cut a little lower. We will cut Monday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon anyway.

My question: Any chance of getting this kind of growth? It's supposed to be in the low 80's and sunny. and is a liquid fertilizer going to be enough to knock down the fungus or should I be adding Daconil to the mix?

Thanks in advance, I know there's a lot of knowledgable people here.

roguesuerte
06-09-2007, 10:27 PM
You are probally looking at red thread fungus in the turf and yes you may be able to push iy out with liquid fertilizer. Liquid Iron also helps green up the grass and you may consider addind Armada fungicide by Bayer, as it is both contact and Systemic. Hope this helps.

RigglePLC
06-09-2007, 10:32 PM
Frantic,
What is the problem caused by? Is grass dry? Rust is a fall disease. Red thread and brown patch seem to be most common disease so far this year in the northern states. Night watering would promote red thread. Does it look like this?
http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/FactSheets/redthread/redthread.htm
A strobiluron fungicide like Heritage or Compass is best, but costly. Four days seems too short to me. Talk to your Lesco guy.

maintenanceguy
06-11-2007, 08:07 PM
Here's what happened.

My guy had fertilized on Friday. I saw the field on Saturday. Riggle and Rouge were right - without any doubt it was red thread. Once I knew what to look for, it was very obvious. I turned off the irrigation on Sunday but did nothing more.

This morning (Monday) the field looked 50% better already. The grass had grown in just two days and there was more green and less brown. The field got cut this afternoon and most of the brown was gone. I'm sure we'll be green and pretty by Wednesday.

americanlawn
06-11-2007, 08:21 PM
Way to go Riggle & Rouge! Nice job!