Take All Root Rot is a disease affecting warm season grasses including Bermuda grass, st augustine grass, zoysia grass, and centipede grass. The sod grass disease is caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis which infects the roots of the host grass.
The surface blades of grass may show some signs of the disease by wilting yellowing patches followed by thinned bare areas as the sod grass dies. These dead irregular shaped bare patches of grass can be 1 to 20 feet in diameter. These visual symptoms appear two to three weeks after infection. By digging up runners of grass the roots will appear brown or black instead of white. Sometimes the rhizomes and stolons will also have black lesions.
Take All Root Rot is brought on by heavy rainfall during the summer and early fall months in combination with already stressed grass do to other factors such as over fertilization, improper use of herbicides, and mowing too short or removing more than a third of the grass blade at one time. Because Take All Root Rot is hard to control once surface symptoms have appeared preventative measures are the best way to combat this sod grass disease.
Using a fertilizer with slow release nitrogen with equal parts potassium versus fast release fertilizers are recommended. Regular weekly mowing at correct heights are recommended during summer months of excessive growth. St augustine grass is sensitive to herbicides and there is some stress placed on the grass. Following manufactures directions of herbicide applications is important to maintaining healthy st augustine grass. Proactive treatment of your sod with fungicides is important in controlling the outbreak during the rainy season and much more effective then using this as a control once symptoms have appeared. Fungicides containing azoxystrobin, myclobutanil, and propiconazole can be used when following manufactures instructions. After application lightly water in fungicide to penetrate to root system. For best results hiring a qualified spray company to maintain the health of your lawn.