Coastal Bermuda Grass Diseases

Coastal bermuda grass has been engineered to be disease- and drought-resistant. As a result, a bermuda lawn will generally remain fairly infection-free. However, bad lawn habits like mowing too close, fertilizing too heavily and watering too often can lead to problematic infections. And that can turn your lush, green lawn into a very brown and dead place very quickly. Keeping an eye out for coastal bermuda grass diseases will help you protect your lawn and keep it happy and healthy.

Rust Diseases

Rusts are fungal infections that may have one or two stages in their life cycle. Generally, rust is a result of too-closely cropped grass and drought stress. Rust symptoms include small, yellow flecks on the blades of the grass that gradually extend and expand to orange lesions. The infected grass will turn yellow, wither and die. If a large portion of your lawn is infected, it may appear yellow or orange. Rust can be controlled by using fungicides and mowing frequently, but not cutting grass short. Clippings must be caught and discarded. Since rust is often a drought infection, water your grass deeply but not too often. Frequent watering can create a moist, humid environment that invites more disease.

Brown Patch Disease

Brown patch disease creates brown, dead patches in your coastal bermuda grass lawn. Patches tend to start small, and may actually have a green center of healthy grass surrounded by a brown patch. Left untreated, these patches will expand and can eradicate your coastal bermuda grass. You can prevent brown patch by fertilizing your lawn midway through the growing season and by watering only very early in the morning or after dark when the soil is dry. If this does not strengthen your grass enough to fight off the infection on its own, then you can apply a fungicide to get rid of the brown patch once and for all.

Leaf Spot Disease

Leaf spot disease causes spots to appear on the blades of grass. Left untreated, these spots will spread and eventually rot. The infected areas will first turn brown and then die off completely, leaving dead, bare spots in your yard. Fertilizing with potassium will help coastal bermuda grass fight off leaf spot. Also, water only when the soil is dry and before 10 a.m., so that the grass blades will dry before nighttime. If your leaf spot persists, apply a fungicide.

Keywords: leaf spot bermuda grass, coastal bermuda grass disease, lawn disease

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Carole VanSickle has over five years experience working with scientists and creative scholars to promote and explain their work. She is based in Atlanta, Ga., and specializes in scientific, medical and technical writing, SEO and educational content.