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Dollar Spot Disease Forms Straw Colored Dead Spots in St Augustine Lawns
Dollar Spot is a very common disease of St Augustine lawns in Pinellas County. I see it on nearly every lawn. Dollar Spot is not a serious threat to your lawn - it is more cosmetic - effecting the appearance of your lawn. Dollar Spot is a low fertility disease and is certainly increased because of the fertilizer ban forced on Pinellas County by SWFWMD.
The Name is Deceiving
The name originates from the distinctive 2" round circles (the size of a silver dollar) "dollar spots" found on golf greens when the fertility levels are low . But in St Augustine Grass the disease forms "spots" of straw colored leaves - circular in form but because of the tall canopy are less the size and shape of silver dollars and more like leopard spots.
Dollar Spot Cure
The cure for Dollar Spot is fertilizer - mainly Potassium and micronutrients. For my customers, often Dollar Spot will occur the week before my regular visits and fade shortly after an application. This by design - fertilizing after every available nutrient has been utilized by the lawn. However if the Dollar Spot is persistent there are fungicidal treatments (less likely to happen).
For the DIY, Dollar Spot is an indicator of low fertility. Allowing the condition to go uncorrected will result in the decline of your St Augustine lawn. The best plan is to wait a week to ten days after observing the Dollar Spot and apply a good fertilizer with micronutrients.
ILoveTurf.com - December 29th, 2011
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