About two weeks ago we had disease break out on the putting green, and we quickly sprayed it with fungicide. We have kept an eye on it since and it appears be under control and nothing is active, but it did pop up on #1 green in a small spot so we sprayed again last Friday morning. We will continue to monitor the turf and make sure we keep it under control. If there are any playability issues we will address them immediately.
So what is it? Anthracnose is the common name for the disease, Colletotrichum graminicola is the scientific name for it. Most commonly, the fungus develops during the heat and humidity of the summer months. It is possible to be active in the spring and fall also, though less common around our area. Turf under stress and in a weak condition is likely to be effected if the disease is present, this is the case for most diseases. The two infection sites are the crown of the plant (basal crown rot) and the leaf tissue (foliar). The basal crown rot is the most severe and kills the plants outright, the foliar form can be less damaging and easier to control.
The one thing with most turf diseases is that they are always there once you have them. They have overwintering forms and will become active once the right conditions come about. Fungicides allow us to prevent the infection of the plant, they do not actually kill the diseases. Anthracnose is one of many diseases that reside in our soil/thatch layer at IVGC. As we go forward from here we will make sure our chemical program for greens covers a wider range of diseases during the summer months. There are a few spring applications we can make to also set ourselves up for better control during the summer.