Does high nirtogen REALLY, REALLY cause lawn fungus????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KirbysLawn, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    I must ask. I have been doing this for right near 8 years and have never faced such a wet spring/summer. I can't help but notice the best looking lawns around are the ones that are OVER FERTILIZED by homeowners.

    I have a stable fert program and everyone that converts to my program agrees that they have much better growth control and they mow less often. However many, many of the lawns are just ate up with fungus, mainly leaf spot, brown patch, and a little rust. However the lawns that get 35-...-.... fertilizer or have dog **** all over them look the best, no question!!

    Could it be possible that underfertilized lawns promote more fungus problems??
     
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    The first thing we do when rust arrives on a lawn here is put down a high nitrogen fertilizer. The higher nitrogen helps the grass plant to grow past the fungus quicker. Most of the time that will knock it out without having to apply a fungicide.
     
  3. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    The thinking is, high N, obviously produces alot of new growth, therefore keeping plants tender. Tender plants are more susceptible to disease if the path. is introduced. In a case like rust, the N forces the lawn to outgrow the disease.
     
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    thats a tough question...I'm seeing more and more articles about the fact that high N any time other than twice in the fall is bad news....weakens the root system because of all the top growth. I hate to put down much N right now becuase next week we're supposed to go into the mod 80"s....thank goodness. But on the other hand Hoss is right about high N to help the plant grow out of the fungus....fungus is a real pain and this year its everywhere. Personally I'm trying to let it grow itself out of the fungus assuming its not destroying the entire turf..what a year...I did use granular Ironite for the first time on my own yard a few weeks ago....its low in N and my yard is darker green than my neighbors and its holding that darker color weeks later. Its s bit pricey though.
     
  5. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Watch out for those turf nazi's trying to protect the envirnment.
    Overfertilization.oohhhh...I guess we could just have them inspect lawn doctor or chemlawn first. hee hee
     
  6. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    The diseases you mentioned are all different causal agents. Nitrogen and the amount of it plays a big part in the disease cycle for these respective, yet different diseases.
    On a root borne disease such as Rhizoctonia, adding N is the reason the disease becomes worse.
    Rusts are pretty much saphrophitic, so a high N dose is necessary to promote the leaf growth to outgrow the infestation.
    Causal agents for leaf spot are a bit different as different causal agents factor into currative measures.
    I have read in your previous posts about using Primo Maxx - now this will certainly increase your disease cycles.
    Species of turfgrass, the edaphic environment, host environment, cultural inputs, all have an interelating relationship as to pathogen balance that is maintained.
    You may have been showing good results for your environment for the last 8 years, however, have you had a spring like this before while using your stable program?
    Remember, the disease pathogens are always present. Check again what you are doing, something is not aiding the turfgrass for the environment your are currently in.
    Good luck, Steve.
     
  7. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    I agree with what everyone else has said but think they are missing the most likely possibility. You guys have had a lot of rain your way, just like us. All of this rain has saturated the soil and can easily leach N, P, K, (and many lessor important nutrients) below root level. Additional N should be used in this case to "green up" a lawn, but P and K can't be overlooked either. Root growth, rhiozome growth, and the grasses ability to withstand dought depend on those nutrients now instead of late summer when it's too late.
     
  8. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    I agree with what everyone else has said but think they are missing the most likely possibility. You guys have had a lot of rain your way, just like us. All of this rain has saturated the soil and can easily leach N, P, K, (and many lessor important nutrients) below root level. Additional N should be used in this case to "green up" a lawn, but P and K can't be overlooked either. Root growth, rhiozome growth, and the grasses ability to withstand dought depend on those nutrients now instead of late summer when it's too late.
     
  9. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    I agree with what everyone else has said but think they are missing the most likely possibility. You guys have had a lot of rain your way, just like us. All of this rain has saturated the soil and can easily leach N, P, K, (and many lessor important nutrients) below root level. Additional N should be used in this case to "green up" a lawn, but P and K can't be overlooked either. Root growth, rhizome growth, and the grasses ability to withstand drought depend on those nutrients now instead of late summer when it's too late.
     
  10. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    Sorry guys, my computer was acting up and I posted that 3 times accidentally. Woops!
     

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