Diseases of Bermuda Grass

Native to Africa, Bermuda grass is a vigorously growing perennial grass. The aggressive growth and spread of Bermuda grass often makes the grass an uncontrollable weed. This resilient turf grass is moderately drought tolerant and adapts to most soil types. It is often used as sporting turf for football and football fields, as well as golf courses and parks. Although cold tolerant, Bermuda grass is nonetheless susceptible to several diseases, which can have devastating effects when left untreated.

Brown Patch

Brown patch is a fungal disease that infects the blades of Bermuda grass. This fungal disease progresses quickly during periods of hot, wet weather with high humidity. Infected grass will develop brown patches of various sizes. The patches result from the wilting and deadening of blighted blades. Individual blades will develop lesions and several green blades may remain within the brown patches. Brown grass is controlled with several treatments of fungicidal sprays that are designed for turf grass. Successful treatments require a thorough covering of the infected blades during cool periods.

Dollar Spot

Dollar spot is a causal disease that is transported throughout the grass by equipment, traffic, wind and water. The disease is enhanced and produces rapidly during cool, dry periods. Bermuda grass that has become infected with dollar spot will develop dark, water soaked areas near the point of infection. As the disease progresses and the blades dry, the water soaked areas develop into light colored lesions with reddish borders. Dollar spot is controlled and prevented with vigorously growing grass that has balanced levels of nitrogen. Remove no more than 1/3 of the blades during any one mowing. Fertilize the grass about every 30 to 45 days during the growing season.

Spring Dead Spot

Spring dead spot is a common disease among Bermuda grass that lacks generous care. This fungal disease, causes by two types of fungi, is soil borne, though it cannot thrive long without a host. Spring dead spot infects the roots of the Bermuda grass, preventing the transportation of nutrients and water throughout each blade. As the disease continues, the roots deaden and the nutrient-lacking blades begin to die. Deadened grass will take on a bleached appearance and will often promote the vigor of establishing weeds. The spread of spring dead spot is controlled with generous lawn care. The Bermuda grass must be irrigated, mowed and fertilized regularly to promoted vigorous growth and deep root systems. Fungicidal spray treatments are available to control spring dead spot but most effective treatments are commercial based. Contact a lawn treatment specialist for assistance.

Keywords: Bermuda grass diseases, brown spot, spring dead spot

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994, and her writing career began with her business career. Her business has successfully assisted many clients with start-ups, development, and expansions. She has a bachelor's degree in business and has published with Identity Theft Chat, Garden Guides, eHow, Travels, Associated Content and others.