View Full Version : Rust disease on new lawn

09-22-2003, 05:38 PM
I have a 5-6 week old lawn which has developed reasonably well, although I have recently noticed what I belive to be rust disease in some areas, also in those areas the grass is not as thick due to what I think is the disease. Any ideas on how to handle it other than stop watering? I also do not want to do anything which could be harmful to such a new lawn.

09-23-2003, 02:07 AM
The organic solution for established fungal diseases on your personal lawn is to use ordinary corn meal at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. It works by attracting one of the Trichoderma family of fungi which, in turn, kills the rust fungus by giving it a disease. Corn meal takes about 10 days to work but you won't notice the improvement for 3 weeks. You can get a 50 pound bag of corn meal at a local feed store for about $6.50. Because corn meal is an organic fertilizer, spot treatment of the fungus will result in dark green spots when the fungus is finally cleared up. Thus you should use the corn meal on the entire yard to keep things even.

If you are a professional landscape manager, I'm not sure you can apply corn meal as an anti fungal agent without both a license and an exemption for the product. Corn meal is not labeled for use as an anti fungal agent. For this reason, I would suggest that professionals who are delivering an organic program to clients should get on a periodic program of using corn meal as a fertilizer. Using corn meal as a fertilizer is a perfectly valid way to get the product on the lawn. Then, the purpose of the organic program, to build soil health, is in place and that healthier soil would act as a natural preventative for fungal problems. I would suggest a 90 day fertilizer cycle to start with and see how that works.

09-23-2003, 09:56 AM
Dave, corn meal as a fungicide is definitely out of the question for commercial applicators, as you note. But it is also not really available for consideration as a fertilizer if you are selling it to others. In my state, and probably in most others, the seller of a fertilizer must provide the buyer with a written statement of the plant nutrient content of the fertilizer. While you can find general approximations of nutrient contents of corn, one would have to have a lab test each lot of cornmeal to give accurate plant nutrient content in that lot of cornmeal.

Definition of fertilizer from the IN Commercial Fertilizer Law: "Fertilizer material means any substance containing nitrogen, phosphate, potash, or any recognized plant nutrient that is used for its plant nutrient content and that is designed to have value in promoting plant growth. The term includes unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures."

While it is true that you do not need a license to apply fertilizer, there are still laws that must be complied with if you are selling fertilizer. Storage is even regulated here.

09-23-2003, 10:19 AM
glock, in dealing with any lawn or landscape problem, it is essential to POSITIVELY identify your problem. A visual assessment by an experienced turf manager can sometimes be incorrect, and a prescribed remedy is then useless. If you feel it is a disease, you can try to ID it from these pages: <a href="http://www.btny.purdue.edu/Pubs/#turf">Diseases of Turfgrass</a>.

For a better chance at a positive ID, use your state extension diagnostic lab. They will analyze a sample and give you a report.

09-24-2003, 11:52 AM
Positively identifying the problem is what you guys get paid for. I wholeheartedly agree with the importance of that statement.

Getting back to fertilizers (and I hope the original poster has the info he needs, because we're drifting away from his question): It seems anymore that you have to have a Philadelphia Lawyer on staff to be in business.
In Maryland (http://click.alltheweb.com/go2/2/atw/1c713294DC/MixILHdlYg/http/www.mda.state.md.us/nutrient/regsred.html) the definition is this(4) "Commercial fertilizer" or "fertilizer" means a substance containing a recognized plant nutrient used for its plant nutrient content and designed for use, or claimed to have value, in promoting plant growth, except unmanipulated animal and vegetable manure, marl, lime, wood ashes, and gypsum.
In Florida (http://election.dos.state.fl.us/laws/97laws/ch_97-006.pdf) it is defined like this“Fertilizer” means any substance which:
(a) Contains one or more recognized plant nutrients and promotes plant
growth, or
(b) Controls soil acidity or alkalinity, or
(c) Provides other soil enrichment, or
(d) Provides other corrective measures to the soil.
For the purposes of this chapter, the term “fertilizer” does not include unmanipulated animal or vegetable manures, peat, or compost which make no claims as described in paragraphs (a)-(d).and576.151 Prohibited acts.—The following acts are prohibited:
(8) The sale of any material as a fertilizer or as an ingredient of any mixed fertilizer showing an activity of water-insoluble nitrogen less than prescribed by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Fertilizer not defined by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials may be distributed as fertilizer, provided the licensee furnishes an acceptable definition, Association of Official Analytical Chemists analysis, or other appropriate method of analysis, and provides efficacy studies with appropriate controls that have been generated in accordance with good scientific practices whose results have been peer reviewed and published in a generally available scientific journal or have been reviewed and recognized by the research department of an accredited agricultural college or university. The data must clearly quantify and demonstrate a beneficial plant growth response attributable to the fertilizer material when it is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s or distributor’s recommendations. Florida has a lot of definitions at that website.

Missouri (http://www.moga.state.mo.us/statutes/C200-299/2660291.HTM) defines fertilizer like this "Fertilizer" includes any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin which is added to soil, soil mixtures, or solution to supplement nutrients and is claimed to contain one or more essential plant nutrients. The term "fertilizer" does not include unmanipulated animal and vegetable manure an
agricultural liming materials used to reduce soil acidity;

Illinois has its Soil Amendment Act at this website.

This is a compilation of many state's regulations on natural resources conservation.

I guess if there is a point to what I've got collected here it is that each state is a little different.

Another observation is that the states are not recognizing in their legislation the idea that ground up seeds, nuts, and beans are beneficial to the soil microbes, and therefore to the plants growing in the soil. I understand the states' interest in protecting their citizens with legislation requiring truth in advertising. For example corn meal and corn cobs come from the same general part of the plant but they have vastly different uses in agriculture. Unfortunately it may be some time before all the states come up to speed in either exempting certain organic materials from scrutiny or including them in their legislation.

09-24-2003, 09:20 PM

Ground up corn cobs are Applied here in Florida all the time. You can buy Ground up Corn Cobs in any Home Depot. I have purchased many Many 50 lb bags of Ground up Corn Cobs over the years. Some of my best Fire Ant Control has been from spreading Ground Up Corn Cobs.

Ground Up Corn Cob is the carrier of some granular pesticides. It is listed on the Label under Inerts.

Inerts------> Unable to move or act.
Sluggish in action or motion; lethargic. See Synonyms at inactive.
Chemistry. Not readily reactive with other elements; forming few or no chemical compounds.
Having no pharmacologic or therapeutic action.

10-29-2003, 08:19 AM
Rust is a lack of nitrogen .try a organic that has high nitrogen and iron.I use a chicken organic 14- 3-6 3/iron. but it to be applied at 5ib /1000.hope this helps.

12-30-2003, 07:56 PM
I have read [in the book"Turfgrass Management "I believe ]that increasing nitrogen usually controls rust. Seen this to be true. So I would agee with NAT. It would seem also that the corn meal would be a good way to up the nitrogen given the other reasons listed above. Tom

hole in one lco
12-30-2003, 08:53 PM
don't forget to bag the grass if not you will just spread the rust water in the morning not at night 15.0min every other day fert high nitrogen

12-30-2003, 10:49 PM
so what is the typical anaylsis of corn meal? how much n,p,k,etc.

01-04-2004, 03:32 PM
Generally for any turf, the watering rate seems to work better when it is 1 hour per application, no more frequently than once a week in the heat of summer* and once a month in the cooler months. Even in the dormant months, the soil microbes need a drink.

*If you live on pure sand in Phoenix or Miami, you may need to water more frequently and for a shorter time in the summer until you develop your roots and organic soil structure.

You can find the NPK of organic materials at http://www.primalseeds.org/npk.htm