Pest of the Month: Melting Out / Zoysia Fungus

The fungal disease known as melting out is seen most commonly in cool-season Zoysia grass, but it can also be a killer in warm-seasons as well.
Symptoms of melting-out resemble leaf spot symptoms and these two diseases are often grouped together. Melting out however is a cool-weather disease where leaf spot is a warm-weather disease. Symptoms first appear as black to purple spots on the leaf blades. Spots eventually move to the leaf sheaths, and the fungus invades the crowns and roots of the grass. The grass will appear yellow or blackish brown from a distance depending on the nitrogen level of the turf during infection.
Melting-out has two stages of disease development; one being in the early spring in cool, wet weather, which brings about spotting on the leaves of the turf. As cool, wet conditions persist, the crown and root rot stage of the disease follows, and infected turfgrass begins to thin and die.

How to manage Melting Out:

  • Raising the height of your lawn mower during the cool, wet weather of early spring and fall will help turf to survive an attack of melting-out.
  • Proper fertilization during the cool weather of the spring and fall will help to reduce disease severity.
  • Managing the irrigation settings to reduce watering should reduce the severity of melting out.
  • Finally, systemic and contact fungicides can be used after all of the above measures are taken into account.

If you need help with Gainesville lawn weed treatments and fertilizer programs, give our team a call or text at (352) 378-5296. We're local and have been serving Gainesville for over 15 years. We look forward to working with you!