Wet Conditions / Poor drainage

Periods of wet conditions will promote fusarium patch disease development, as wet conditions provide an ideal environment for the spores of fusarium patch disease to spread within the turfgrass to healthy leaves. The wetter the turf, the more easily fusarium can spread to cause further infections to healthy turf. Ensuring adequate drainage is one way to reduce excess moisture on the surface of the turfgrass, limiting the ideal environment for fusarium patch. Including mechanical operations like aeration, scarifying, spiking and hollow or solid tinning will ensure turf drains more rapidly. This removing excess moisture from the surface.

Dew

Dew removal is one of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of fusarium patch outbreaks and to limit the development of the disease once active. Removing dew reduces the moisture from the surface which is required for the disease spores to spread.

High Nitrogen / Top Dressing

Avoid heavy applications of quick release nitrogen, but do not starve the greens when there may still be root growth. Turf plants grown under higher levels of nitrogen have thinner cell walls which are more easily penetrated by the fungus. Applying slow release balanced fertilizers or liquid fertilizers will ensure the grass has the nutrients required without excessive over applications of nitrogen. Light and frequent top dressing application can be used to dilute thatch layers. Too higher rate of top dressing which is not worked into the turfgrass can often trigger a fusarium outbreak. It should be noted that topdressing can have a high alkaline ph. This can increase the ph. of the soil environment to favour fusarium patch disease, especially in moist conditions.

Alkaline conditions

Acidifying materials tend to discourage fusarium patch disease. By maintaining the Ph. of the soil between 5.5 – 6.5 provides an ideal environment for the finer grasses and encourages less susceptible grasses to grow.

Thatch

Excessive thatch holds moisture which can increase moisture levels in the turf, especially where there is poor air movement. This provides the ideal environment for the fusarium spores may germinate or mycelium may grow from thatch or soil and infect leaves. Regular mechanical operations such as aeration, scarifying and hollow tine, will physically remove the thatch and improve air movement into the rootzone. This allows the soil microbes to reproduce rapidly and feed on the thatch, reducing it further.

Poorly Rooted plant

A poorly rooted plant can become easily stressed. When turfgrass is under stress it does not have the natural ability to defend against disease outbreaks and is more susceptible to disease. Encouraging a good root structure and a healthy sward is key so the plant has the natural defenses to restrict disease outbreaks.

Annual Meadow grass most susceptible

Poa (annual meadow grass) is most susceptible to fusarium patch disease. Using a less susceptible seed for over sowing and renovation works in areas prone to disease outbreaks can improve the overall disease tolerance of the sward.