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"organic" treatment of brown patch

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by thill, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. thill

    thill LawnSite Member
    Posts: 245

    I have used Milorganite on my St Augustine lawn for the last two years and have been very pleased with the lush green carpet through the spring and summer.

    Prior to that, I used "chemical" fertilizers relatively low in nitrogen.

    I have had recurring problems with brown patch each fall for the last four or five years and have treated with chemical fungicides.

    It's that time of year again and I am seeing early signs of BP.

    I water infrequently but deeply and never late in the afternoon or at night. BTW - The soil is a dark heavy clay.

    Other than aerating, what can I do in the "organic" arena that will help control this years crop of BP?

    This new site has indeed started off with a bang!

    Tom
     
  2. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    A couple of conditions that make BP favorable are:

    Warm temps (highs above 65f and lows above 60f)
    Rainy or humid weather with prolonged leaf weness
    Increased serverity with excessive N and low P and K

    Some options are:

    Maintain moderate, balanced fertlility (I'd get the soil tested)
    Minimize leaf wetness (sounds like you have already addressed this)
    Alleviate soil compaction and maintain thatch less than 3/4"
    Promote good soil drainage
    Selectively prune trees and shrubs to increase air circulation

    Are you applying any microbes for soil conditioning?
     
  3. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    Ordinary corn meal is the organic fungus controller. When used at a rate of 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet every 90 days, corn meal will keep all (yes all) turf fungus at bay. If the fungus has already gotten a foothold, use it at 20 #/k.

    The research for this was done on peanuts at Texas A&M at Stephenville. To quote from their website...
    http://stephenville.tamu.edu/~clee/pdncr/index.html

    Number 4) in the quote means that if you have already used a fungicide, the corn meal trick doesn't work. The fungicide will kill the Trichoderma fungus and negate any antifungal benefit.

    Now the question comes up, can you licensed pest control applicators use corn meal against fungal disease in turf? I'm not at all sure you can. The normal label for corn meal reads as follows...

    "Feed"

    That's all. However, if you use it on a 90 day schedule as a fertilizer throughout the season, you should not have any fungal problems.
     
  4. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    For those that are concerned about applying cornmeal without an EPA #, you can try Turfshield (Bio-Trek 22G). It contains Trichoderma strain 1295-22. This strain has shown ability to colonize in plant roots.
     
  5. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    Grassmechanic,
    Do you have a bookmark for Turfshield? Some time ago I read about it coming to the market but had not read that it is here already. I believe I was reading the patent for it, so that was probably way out of date at the time.
     
  6. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    You can purchase it from Turfgrass,Inc. South Lyon, MI 1-800-521-TURF or email: tgrass@ismi.net . They will UPS it. It shows in their catalog back to 2000-01 season. 40# treats 33,000 sf. HTH.
     
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Can corn meal be used for spot treatment or is it neccessary to treat the entire area for effectiveness.Total area contol is obviously better but how effective would it be as a spot treatment for lawns with only minor problems.
     
  8. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    Corn meal can be used as a spot treatment but it is also a fertilizer. You might end up with spots of tall green grass.
     
  9. NAT

    NAT LawnSite Member
    from Zone 7
    Posts: 96

    I have good results with neem oil . neem oil comes from a plant.its good for treating brownpatch and as well as a insectcide .safe for lawn and veg garden.love the new site .
     
  10. gmturf

    gmturf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    ....man... this was an old thread !

    UPDATE
    TurfShield Plus has been reformulated to include 2 strains Trichoderma.

    TurfShield® PLUS is a preventative biological fungicide for the control of turf diseases. It contains two active ingredients, Trichoderma harzianum Rifai strain T-22 and Trichoderma virens strain G-41. When applied, these microbes colonize turfgrass roots and protect from damping off caused by Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium ssp., and Sclerotinia homeocarpa (Dollar Spot).
     

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