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rust on new sod

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by RigglePLC, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,722

    Two new families moved into new houses in a new development . It has sandy infertile soil. Homeowners installed new sod about September 22nd. They told me it came from AAA sod farm of Hudsonville. Weather dry, temps about 70 during day and 50 at night. Owners watered it thoroughly. Looked excellent at first. Later I noticed rust fungus on some pieces of the sod. (Brownish orange discoloration on some rolls.)
    First mowing on September 29, 2012.
    So far I do not know what exact cultivars were planted at the sod farm. Actually in edit the varieties are listed under Q and A at their website. Scotts Double Eagle Blue Heat Elite Mixture, with the cultivars listed.


    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Isn't the primary cause of rust nitrogen deficiency ? excessive water helping deplete the nitrogen even more?
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,722

    I think sod farms keep the nitrogen high. It sure looks mostly green. Rust is a fall disease--never seen in spring.
    It is clear that some of the rolls were highly infested and some not. So...did it develop inside the roll? Or (more likely) was there an area of the sod field that was infested--shady north side perhaps.
    I told the owner not to worry about it--it should disappear after frost--is that right?
    Frost is due in about 3 weeks.
  4. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    excerpt from something online..take it with a grain of salt

    Rust diseases in grasses are caused by a nitrogen deficiency in the soil. This deficiency, combined with insufficient moisture, slows down the growth of the grass, thereby making it more susceptible to fungal infection. Weather conditions can influence nitrogen levels in soil. Heavy rains wash out available nitrogen in the soil as do abrupt changes from warm, humid weather to dry heat. Certain grass species, such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue, are more prone to rust infection than other species. The infection can also spread easily since fungal spores can be carried by wind, rain, people, clothes or lawn equipment.

    Since nitrogen deficiency is the chief cause of rust infections, proper lawn maintenance techniques are probably the most effective preventative measures. Test your lawn soil for nutrient levels -- not just nitrogen but phosphorous and potassium as well -- and fertilize accordingly to supplement the needed nutrients. Lawn grasses typically respond well to September fertilizer applications. Keeping your lawn regularly mowed and removing grass clippings from the lawn after mowing can further inhibit rust infections.

    Other Considerations
    Rust, under most circumstances, will not kill you lawn; it is considered more a cosmetic than a health issue. Still, if lawn appearance if important to you, consider buying a grass species or species cultivar that is naturally resistant to rust infections. Fungicides usually are not necessary to control rust except in the most extreme of infections.

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