It's easy to put the task of monitoring turf conditions on the back burner during a prolonged period of bone-chilling, wet weather, especially when there are plenty of indoor chores that need attention before the first surge of golfers arrive. Just remember, the times you let your guard down are when turf problems can sneak up and bite you on the grass.
The USGA Green Section Regional Update, “Putting the Brakes on Microdochium Patch,” discussed the potential for Microdochium patch disease during periods of cool, wet weather. Recent reports and observations of significant disease activity in the Central Region indicate the need for action. Left unchecked, this pathogen can cause considerable turf injury within a short period of time when conditions for disease development are favorable. To make matters worse, mowers can spread the active disease across wet turf.
Waiting for a period of sunny, mild weather to control Microdochium patch is an option when turf injury is modest and only occurring on fairways or roughs. However, it makes good sense to immediately control Microdochium patch with appropriate plant protectants if it occurs on putting greens, especially if the forecast predicts another bout of miserable weather. Use granular products to control Microdochium patch if greens are too soft to accommodate a sprayer, but keep in mind that most granular products require irrigation or rain to move the active ingredient into the turf. Therefore, a granular application might make it necessary to charge the irrigation system earlier than usual.
The key to managing Microdochium patch is to remain vigilant. Nipping a potentially serious problem in the bud is always worth a little cold rain down the back of your neck.
Central Region Agronomists:
Bob Vavrek, regional director – firstname.lastname@example.org
John Daniels, agronomist – email@example.com
Zach Nicoludis, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org