October 15, 2012

Here is a mystery problem from two of our sports turf students, Joel Rieker and Kevin Hansen.  It is from a new Kentucky bluegrass grow-in on one of the new sand-based sports fields on campus.  It is showing up as patches from one to two feet in diameter.  Notice the close up of the turf in the third picture, showing a redish to purple discoloration on new growth.

I am suspecting a nutritional problem.  My guess is phosphorus and I am recommending a application of phosphorus as soon as possible.  I think that there is probably some fungal organism involved but I suspect that it is because the grass is deficient in phosphorus.  We may also try some chlorothalonil fungicide on a test area.  They will also do a soil test on the area and take a sample of the grass to the plant disease lab, but both will take some time.  It is the end of the season and we do need to act fast.

I could be wrong and I would like some feedback on this.  Has anyone seen this before on a bluegrass grow-in on sand?  If so what did you do about it.  Send the response to my e-mail, or put it on the comment section below.  Any ideas would be helpful.

Kentucky Bluegrass Mystery Problem

Kentucky Bluegrass Mystery Problem


Nick Christians Professor

Nick Christians, Ph.D. – University professor of turfgrass management, Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture, Ames, IA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Dr. Christians received his B.S. from the Colorado State University ...