The Q&A Archives: centipeed grass in south georgia

Question: I have just discovered a very dark almost black areas in my front an back yard. I know it is July and our yard needs additional water, however, I have not seen this before. Please ideas?

Answer: Centipede grass may turn black if you apply a high rate of iron. The lawn should recover if this is the cause. Take All root rot is another problem that might be rearing its ugly head. This fungus disease affects centipede, St. Augustine and Bermuda lawns. Affected lawns may have round or irregular dead or dying patches. The organism that causes Take All rots the lawn?s roots and aboveground runners (stolons). To identify the disease:

Look for the black, rotted roots. Affected stolons may be brown or black at the nodes or have dead patches. One of the best ways to identify this disease is to look for the black, thread-like fungal hyphae growing on the undersides of the stolons. You will need a microscope or a good hand lens to see these hyphae. Many Georgia Extension offices have microscopes agents can use to diagnose diseases.
Take all root rot prefers cooler weather, infects lawns in the fall, grows through the winter and begins to slow growth in late spring. Unfortunately, by the time we see the symptoms of this disease, much damage is already done.

Fungicide applications in the fall and again in the spring can keep your lawn from developing Take All, but there's not much you can do with already affected lawn areas other than to dig them out to remove the fungus from the immediate area. You might want to contact your local cooperative extension office for positive diagnosis and suggested controls. Good luck with your lawn.

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