Rust disease on new lawn

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by glock, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. glock

    glock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    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.
  2. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    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.
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    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.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    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="">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.
  5. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    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 the definition is this
    In Florida it is defined like this
    Florida has a lot of definitions at that website.

    Missouri defines fertilizer like this
    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.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    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.
  7. NAT

    NAT LawnSite Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 96

    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.
  8. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,163

    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
  9. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    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
  10. so what is the typical anaylsis of corn meal? how much n,p,k,etc.

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