Quick Tip: What is Take-All Root Rot in my Gainesville Lawn?

What is Take-All Root Rot in my Gainesville Lawn?
Take-All Root Rot is a fungal disease that lives in the soil and attacks turf when conditions are favorable. Most commonly, it is found in St. Augustine lawns, however it can also be found in Bermuda and even Zoysia turfgrasses.

What causes Take-All Root Rot?
Take-All Root Rot is caused by the fungal pathogen Geaumannomyces graminis and is found in soil in Gainesville, Alachua, and Newberry Lawns. Less-than favorable conditions that allow for this attack on turf include:

  • Mild winter weather
  • Excessive rainfall or irrigation
  • Stress from poor mowing practices (too low, not often enough)
  • Heavy clay soils
  • Poor drainage
  • Compacted soils
  • Over-watering
  • Nighttime irrigation schedules
  • Excessive shade

What are the symptoms of root rot?

*Image of take-all root rot up close yellow and dying grass with exposed roots. Blackened stolons are common as well. 

Symptoms of Take-all root rot are less apparent before the grass begins greening up, but become quite noticeable during the spring as the lawn comes back to life. As the disease continues to progress throughout your lawn, pale or yellowing areas affected will turn brown and eventually die if not addressed. During this process, runners become weak and vulnerable in these areas and the grass seems quite slow-growing or nearly non-existent.

How to fight root rot?
Unfortunately, Take-all root rot is a common issue in our area and is an incurable disease, currently. The goal is to mitigate symptoms the best we can in order for the lawn to remain appealing, healthy,and green. In order to confront this issue, we recommend the following steps:

  • Apply high-quality fungicides specifically labeled for control or suppression of Take-all Root Rot in the spring and fall as symptoms persist
  • Aerate the turf in the spring as needed
  • Topdress with Command TurfBuilder Soil
  • Apply lower rates of Nitrogen, with higher rates of micronutrients and Potassium and Magnesium in areas showing signs or symptoms.
  • Limit the rate and use of herbicides in areas showing signs or symptoms.

The Master's Lawn Health Teams have successfully managed Take-All Root Rot in many lawns in our area over the years. We have the expertise to help our customers with this problem before it destroys their lawns. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! (352) 378-LAWN or info@themasterslawncare.com.