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Leaf Spot / Melting-Out

Caused by: Drechslera spp. and / or Bipolaris spp.

South Africa Golf Turf Care Treating Leaf Spot Melting Out

Susceptible Turfgrasses
Creeping Red Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, Annual Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, tall Fescue, and some varieties of Bentgrass and Bermudagrass.

Leaf Spot (melting-out) causes purplish-brown to black spots with tan centers on the leaf blade and sheath. The lower leaves of the infected plants become shriveled and blighted. When melting-out infection is severe, almost all of the leaves and tillers die, causing severe thinning of the stand-or melting-out.

On cool-weather turfgrass, melting-out typically follows the appearance of leaf spots.

Conditions favouring Disease
Leaf spot favours temperatures between 4°C and 26°C. It occurs in areas that experience more than 10 hours a day of foliar wetness for several consecutive days. It also favours high amounts of nitrogen and a low mowing height.

Integrated Turf Management

  • Increase the height of cut

  • Reduce turf stress by using lightweight equipment.

  • Avoid the application of high rates of water-soluble nitrogen in the Spring

  • Minimise the amount of shade

  • Irrigate turf deeply and as infrequently as possible

  • Reduce thatch in the early Spring or Autumn for cool-season turfgrass and in the Summer for warm-season turfgrass

Fungicidal Control
Banner, Daconil WeatherStik and Heritage have label recommendations for Leaf Spot / Melting Out in South Africa.

Bipolaris and Drechslera (previously classified as Helminthosporium fungi).Helminthosproium sp. are on the Daconil label.

Learn more about turf diseases in our free guide. Download it here.