Turf rust

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,154

    One of my lawns has developed rust (can see the rusty red rust 'nodules' (sorry if the terminology is off a bit) on the blades). It is about a 1/2 acre lawn and the infected area is probably 50-60%.

    Did some reading in my manuals on this, advised that regular growth of grass along with regular mowing will remove the infected blades gradually. Once separated, the rust quickly fades out.

    I know there might be more to it than this. How do you guys handle this?
    What are some root causes of rust and do you treat for it? Weather here over the last month was cool and wet, followed by 2 weeks of torrid hot and humidity, then the last few days cool (but drier).

  2. JWTurfguy

    JWTurfguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    The simple answer would be to use fertilizers with better slow-release technology (MU, etc) and to make sure you're not allowing the rapid growth of the grass to dissuade you from applying the needed next round of nitrogen.

    Rust and red thread both flourish in low-fertility situations, for example if it's been 2 months since your last fert app and you used SCU, which releases fast in wet soils.

    You can apply a fungicide along with the fert, but a strong app of high-quality fert usually does the trick.
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,154

    OK, thx for the info.

    Here is more info from me re this lawn.
    Brand new, hydroseeded lawn last yr. Good majority of ryegrass in the turf, the rest fescue and KBG. Lawn is almost 1 year old.

    I did one app of granular 19-0-6 in late April (30% slow PSCU), and 2nd app in mid June was 18-24-12 (50% PSCU). The reason for the starter fert on 2nd app was soil test pulled up a need for additional P to bring in line. That, and its still a pretty new lawn.

    So, I don't really have the option of laying down another round of fert now. I don't like to put down fert in July and Aug, just too dry and extreme and besides too close to the last app.

    Any addl thoughts?
  4. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Typical for newly seeded lawns. Fert a little heavier and pray for no evening rains. Don't waist your $ on fungicide.
  5. castle555

    castle555 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    Wow, that's a large area you have to deal with, there. The main problem with rust (Fungus) is that it can be picked up by a mower, wheels, a dog paw, etc. and tracked to another spot -such as from front, area to area and to a back yard, even. Hosing down the mower before cutting another area can help keep it from spreading -but oh well, that'll be next to impossible to be sure about.
    Treat it with Ironite -granular spread is one way to cure it. And cut down the watering for a week or so.
    Watch out ;) this type of product should be swept off concrete before wetting it. It can stain.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,171

    Rust is a problem on some types of ryegrass particularly the immature stage, in the first year. Don't worry about spreading it. It spreads by airborne spores anyway. Usually a problem in late summer. In a new lawn situation I would go ahead and fertilize. If you use a good fertilizer with plenty of slow-release, hot weather is no problem. New lawns typically will greatly benefit from the added nitrogen--and the more rapid growth will reduce the rust.
  7. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    Ryegrass less than 2 years old is very susceptible to rust. Do not worry about the fertilizer. If you apply a fertilizer with 50% or more slow release you will be fine. It looks like you use Lesco fertilizer. Find the cheapest 50% slow release they have and put it down. You need to grow the grass out of the rust.
  8. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    What is is like 45 degrees by you?
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,154

    Nights have been getting into the 50's over the last week or so. But no, nothing in the 40's this time of year.
  10. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,154

    So, what I am hearing is to put down a good app of quality fert with at least 50% slow N and the rust should work its way out with the stimulated growth of the plants.

    For reference, my last fert app for this lawn was on June 5. Only 0.75 lb N was put down per 1K, 50% slow at that time. Ok to go out in the next week and put down another app with 50% slow N?

    We did just get an inch of rain here last two days - greatly helping the dry conditions around here. I drove past this lawn today again, and it does look pretty yellow/orange/brown with rust. I need to move this lawn past this problem, it is a good account for me. Any additional advice?

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