Is This Dollar Spot On My Bermuda?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Bones06, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Bones06

    Bones06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    The guy that does our weed/feed apps told me about a month ago that we were in the early stages of dollar spot. He told me to go buy a fungicide from one of the big box stores (said it was much cheaper and just as effective as theirs) which I did. I've done three treatments with the one I bought and the spots are now running rampant across the entire front/side yard, and now showing up in our backyard. we have had record rainfalls this summer and he said that in combination with the low spots in our yard (this is where it first popped up) caused the formation of the disease. After the first treatment I applied, I also sanded the yard to help with the drainage. Obviously with all the rain our irrigation has been off, my mower blades are razor sharp, and we are on a regular weed/feed schedule with a company that always did great at our previous house. Is there another treatment I could buy from the big box stores that is actually effective? Below are a couple pics of what we are dealing with, and one of the treatment that I've applied 3 times over the past 4 weeks. Any and all help is greatly appreciated........Thanks

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    This is the treatment I've been applying
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  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,251

    Yes that is dollar spot, but that is not a fungicide your using. The active ingredient in that stuff is "Baccilus Subtilus" that's a biological control that will give 'some' control of dollar spot in laboratory condition's. I sure woudn't count on that product. Get something with some daconil in it, that's probably as cheap a fungicide as you can get.

    I will tell you that i don't spend any money treating dollar spot on bermuda. If you have enough nitrogen (1 Lb. a month - May-Sept.) and enough sunlight, it's usually not a problem. I know that mean's more mowing, but it is bermuda grass, and this is prime bermuda growing time.
     
  3. Bones06

    Bones06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I guess I should've paid more attention to the label instead of just reading the front of the bottle! I remember the guy telling me to get something made by Ortho, just couldnt remember what it was, so I grabbed the Natria. All of the affected areas get full sun from morning till night. I don't mind cutting it frequently, in fact it is growing so fast right now that I'm cutting it every 2-3 days. I just read somewhere else that a lack of nitrogen is a contributing factor, do you think I should bring that up to the fert guys? After reading about using nitrogen as a preventive and curative factor I'm wondering why they don't up the n instead of telling me to go buy something myself? Either way, I will go find something tomorrow and maybe give the fert guys a call since our next app is due in the next week or two......Thanks
     
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,251

    Just tell your fert guy's that you want a Lb. of N per month from May -Sept. don't let them give you any reason why they can't do that. Their bottom line is that fertilizer cost's them money and time, that's why they are being stingy. I assume you don't have irrigation, it would help, but it's not the end of the world, alway's try to water the fertilizer in. Mow at 1 1/2", mow when it's dry, keep your mower blade's sharp. Good luck.
     
  5. Bones06

    Bones06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I agree that they are probably being stingy with the N, but our old lawn which was across the road never had this problem and we had the same guys. They've been great about coming right over if I have areas of weeds popping up, guess I will see how they respond to this request when I call on Monday! We have full irrigation, but I turned it off due to the high rainfall we've had here. I did turn it on manually right after the last two dry apps, so I have that covered. Overall the lawn has made great progress since last year (house was new construction last summer), up until this issue reared its ugly head.
     
  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,251

    As far as fertilizer go's, i don't know how you could confirm what someone else say's they are putting down. Maybe find out what the analysis on the fertilizer bag is. (those 3 number's) Remember that the first number is N and is a percentage of the total weight of the bag and find out how many bag's they used. You'll have to know how many sq. ft. your yard is for this to work.

    When you do start using your irrigation again, watering at dawn is best. Bremuda really like's a 1/2" of water a week. If you have sandy soil, water and fert go through it faster and you might have to adjust for that.

    New construction lot's usually have had bulldozer's on them causing major compaction and a lot of time's the topsoil has been stripped off and sold so you might want to consider that.
     
  7. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,269

    Any fert company that does not know dollar spot is cured by nitrogen vs fungicide has no BASIC turf industry skills. That is 101 stuff. Who ferts and doesn't know that? Dollar spot is the simplest of the simple to cure especially in bermuda.
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,821

    Last time i checked, N is cheaper than fungicides. On a residential lawn, the cheap old school products like chlorthalonil and PCNB are prohibited. What is allowed is so expensive that the licensed operators cry about having to treat a lawn for disease. 5 lb of ammonium sulfate is not that expensive.

    A high height of cut in bermuda or zoysia can actually foster disease. It is the opposite of cool season grasses. The excessive stems and thatch retain too much water. Not a problem if the lawn is mowed with a reel at less than 1".
     
  9. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,269

    You get it greendoctor. AS is real cheap. Best economical choice treating DS.
     
  10. Bones06

    Bones06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I would love to use a reel mower but our yard is way too bumpy to use one. I recently bought a new Honda HRX and that has helped with the cut. Due to the bumps I cannot cut any lower than 2in without scalping multiple areas. Over the past year the front has been sanded 3 times, and I'm going to do another one real soon.

    Next time they are here I will go check their bags and ask them what rate of N they are putting down. I think if they see that I'm educating myself on Bermuda they maybe less inclined to "bulls*#t" me. They know I'm a former LCO but they also know that I'm from the Midwest and have no experience with Bermuda. I have the irrigation set to begin at 4:45am and each zone goes for about 15-20 min, except the areas that "pond". I watched the build from the first shovel and they did strip/haul away the topsoil, and what was left is typical heavy red clay. Total lot size is 14000sq ft minus the house, drive, and patios.......Thanks All!
     

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