turf fungicides = solving the problem?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Wondering what you all think in regard to using turfgrass fungicides to address disease problems. I think they're a waste of time & money cuz the products don't last long, repeated applications are always needed, applications should begin before the disease gets going, fungicides cost alot, heavy rains leach out treatments, and the cause of the problem is never solved. my opinion only

    rscvp, Thanks:usflag::canadaflag:
  2. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    I think that may depend on what disease that you are targeting, and whether or not you use the proper rate. I don't think that fungicides are useless. Imagine if golf courses used that approach. If it takes two applications to get rid of a disease problem than that's what it takes. The climate has so much to do with disease problems, even if you do everything right, sometimes it just happens. At least there are products out there to get you out of a jam should you need it. You are right though. Treating diseases is costly. Do you have disease problems on any of your lawns?
  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    I hear ya, but when it comes to residential lawns -- I beleive that 'incorporating disease-resistant custivars' is the best solution. "Goff" courses usually do not have this option (mainly cuz they are limited in the types of grass they can use) -- that's why they apply fungicides often, heavy, and have a huge budget for it. Homeowners have more options....Example: there are several hundred different cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass alone, plus other options like ryegrass, fescues, etc. Goff courses are limited as to what they can use.

  4. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    I don't see as where golf courses are that limited as to what they can use. On the greens maybe, but you can introduce KBG into PR and vice versa. Golf courses have entirely different economic thresholds is the main thing. One night of pythium and a dude can lose a $250,000 a year job, and tank a career. They also have very high traffic turf, coupled with the need to water at night.

    Fungicides are only in my program as a last resort. I first get the client to correct cultural practices. If that doesn't do it, I will make an organic application or boost the organics throughout the program. If all else fails I will apply a fungicide. By the time those remedies are exhausted it is usually an application of a coating, contact fungicide rather than a systemic.
  5. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Fungicides are expensive, and that is why Joe Homeowner gets n uncomfortable itch when we apply. They work, but when JH doesn't follow irrigation instructions.... I have some of these nimrods for customers. I drive by and SEE them watering at 7pm! Yet, they swear they don't do it!

    I have taken to telling them that short of being a liar, their irrigation sytem is not paying attention to their directions. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't tell him WHEN to drink!

    That is part of the problem.... the other is mother nature. We've had almost 2 weeks of 93 degree temps. Dollar spot and summer patch all over the place, even on lawns with good irrigation schedules. Then, there is thew whole.... "why is my lawn turning brown?" issue. Lady, it's been in the nineties for 2 weeks, and we haven't had a cloudy day in two months. The shet is frying in he sun!
  6. cod8825

    cod8825 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Trying to explain lawn dieseses is well it is like this:wall:wall:wall with a customer some times.
  7. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    We often see 3 or 4 or 5 different diseases in one lawn......leaf spot, melting out, brown patch, summer patch, red thread, powdery mildew, etc. Often they mow Kentucky bluegrass at less than 2 inches during extreme heat & humidity. Nothing brings on disease quicker than infrequent mowing and mowing too short at the same time. Dull mower blade too. Then there's soil compaction & crappy soil. I like core aeration in the fall, and organic fert too. I think fungicides merely minimize the damage...then it starts all over again next year. Problem is, most folks call after the disease has been present for some time -- then they laugh when we tell 'em what a fungicide treatment costs. They laugh even harder when we tell 'em that several treatments are needed just to "suppress" the problem.
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,674

    Larry, I agree. Not sure about fungicides. So far I have been disapointed when trying to control red thread and dollarspot. I am planning to try again, though. I also will ask the customer if i can leave an untreated spot--for comparison.
    Resistant varieties are definately the best way to go.

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