What is Dollar Spot?

dollar spot

Dollar spot is a common lawn disease that is prevalent in Kansas City and other areas with warm and humid climates. It is caused by a fungal infection that affects turfgrass, including Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, and bentgrass. Dollar spot is characterized by small, circular patches of straw-colored grass that are about the size of a silver dollar, hence its name. The disease can spread quickly and cause extensive damage to your lawn if left untreated.

What Causes Dollar Spot?

The fungus responsible for dollar spot can survive in soil and plant debris for several months, making it easy for the disease to spread. It thrives in warm and humid conditions, especially when there is excess moisture. Factors that can contribute to the development of dollar spot include:

  • Overwatering your lawn
  • Inadequate drainage
  • Low nitrogen levels in the soi
  • Mowing your lawn too short
  • Using dull blades when mowing
  •  Failing to aerate or dethatch your lawn.

How To Identify Dollar Spot?

The most common signs of dollar spot are small, circular patches of straw-colored grass on your lawn. These patches may be as small as a few inches in diameter, but they can grow and merge into larger patches over time. You may also notice thin, web-like threads on the grass blades or a white, cottony growth on the soil surface. These are both signs of the fungal infection. If you suspect that your lawn has dollar spot, it's important to confirm the diagnosis before taking any action.

To confirm the presence of dollar spot, take a close look at the affected areas. If the grass blades have a characteristic bleached appearance, this is a good indication that you're dealing with dollar spot. You can also try pulling up a section of grass from the affected area. If the roots are healthy and the soil is moist but not waterlogged, this is another sign that you're dealing with dollar spot.

How to Fix Dollar Spot

There are several steps you can take to fix dollar spot in your lawn. The first step is to reduce the frequency and amount of watering to prevent the disease from spreading further. You can also try applying a fungicide to the affected areas. There are many fungicides available on the market that are specifically designed to treat dollar spot.

When applying fungicides to your lawn, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. You should also wear gloves and protective clothing to prevent skin contact with the chemicals. If you have pets or small children, keep them away from the treated areas for at least 24 hours. Finally, it's important to remember that fungicides are only a temporary solution to dollar spot. To truly get rid of the disease, you'll need to address the underlying causes of the problem, such as over-watering or poor soil drainage.

Other steps you can take to fix dollar spot in your lawn include mowing your lawn at the right height, using sharp blades, and regularly aerating and dethatching your lawn. You can also ensure that your lawn is adequately fertilized and watered according to the needs of your specific grass species. If your lawn has been severely damaged by dollar spot, you may need to reseed or resod the affected areas to restore your lawn's health and beauty.

Will My Lawn Recover From Dollar Spot?

The good news is that most lawns can recover from dollar spot if the disease is caught early and treated promptly. However, if the disease has progressed too far, it may be challenging to save your lawn. The key to preventing dollar spot from spreading is to identify it early and take steps to treat it as soon as possible.

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