Take All Root Rot is a relatively newly discovered turf disease which is becoming more prevalent on lawns. Saint Augustine grass was the first lawn type which was discovered to be harboring this new lawn disease in the early 1990s in the United States, and since this time it has been discovered to be affecting many other lawn types as well.
Take All Root Rot is one of the worst lawn diseases to have for St Augustine lawns, as there really is no cure to the disease, only management treatments to keep the lawn in its best health possible so the turf not only looks its best, but also fights the disease on its own so as to stay in its healthiest condition naturally.
Symptoms Of Take All Root Rot In Saint Augustine Grass
Take All Root Rot, also known as Take All Patch and Take All Disease, will begin displaying itself on a lawn with small patches one or two feet across, and will quickly spread to cover the entire lawn surface.
The disease is most easily noticeable by the way it will darken and blacken the above ground runners (stolons) of the Saint Augustine grass as these runners are slowly rotted away. In worst affected areas, the lawn owner will discover that the turf itself will often easily lift up and away from the soil underneath.
Fungicide Treatments For Take All Root Rot
Some lawn owners have reported success in curing their lawns from Take All Root Rot by the application of commercial grade fungicides applied by a turf professional, however this is rare and should never be an expected outcome.
Instead, a fungicide should be considered as one part of a continuing lawn care plan to manage the disease, and to increase the health of the lawn to its greatest extent, so that it can outcompete and out-flourish the disease, so that in the end, we have the very best looking lawn under such trying circumstances, and with the hope that the lawn may possibly outcompete and defeat the disease.
Management Plans For Take All Root Rot Lawn Disease
Managing this Saint Augustine grass disease will require implementing a good year round lawn care program which should be undertaken by all lawn owners at any rate.
Fertilize the lawn regularly throughout the year, using good quality lawn fertilizers with trace elements. There's never any need to over fertilize, as this practice can damage and weaken the lawn more than it actually helps it, so be sure to follow manufacturers recommendations. If anything, under-fertilization while applying routinely is far better than over-fertilization or no fertilizer at all.
Apply a fungicide when the disease looks like it is developing a new outbreak.
Vertimow the lawn and remove thatch whenever required, as this will lessen the ability of the disease to flourish amongst the warm and humid thatch layer of the turf.
Manage the pH levels of the lawn by doing a soil test and adjusting the pH levels as necessary. A pH level of 5.5 to 6.0 will usually keep the lawn healthy, while creating a hostile environment for the turf disease.
Lawn aeration is a method of aerating a lawn by using a special machine to remove plugs (cores) of turf, thatch and soil from the lawn surface. The process allows masses of healthy oxygen to get to the roots of the Saint Augustine grass, which once again is great for the lawn and hostile to the disease.
A Final Solution To Take All Root Rot
The final solution to rid the turf of Take All Root Rot would of course be to remove the lawn altogether, and plant a new lawn in its place, and a lawn type that may be far less susceptible to this terrible lawn disease. And sometimes this may be the easiest and quickest way for at least some of us to once again have a nice green healthy lawn at our homes.