In many instances, especially during hot and dry conditions, areas in the turf that appear to be disease activity are simply dry areas we call “hot spots” (To check for disease look closely at the individual grass blade and see if there are any leafspots on the leaf. This may be disease. Fescue Disease Example. If the leaf blade is just brown then you have a water related issue. Checking the soil in these areas will quickly show that the soil is excessively dry. The reason these spots develop, especially with irrigation, is a simple problem called sprinkler over throw. Each head must be checked to insure that not only is it working but that it is properly distributing the water. Note the arc of the stream “overthrowing” the dry, brown area. The remedy is fairly simple. Adjust the head so that the stream is “feathered” and that adequate water is actually falling beneath the arc of the water stream.
Initially, if a hot spot occurs, spot water the affected area for 1 – 2 hours to rehydrate the area. Your watering schedule should be 1X per week to yield ~1″ of water during most of the year and 2X per week to yield 1″ of water per application when temperatures are above 90 degrees.
Also, to help manage dry spots or hot spots in your turf, we recommend either John Deere/Lesco Ecosential Moisture Manager® or Hydretain®. Here is the website for information on this product; http://www.hydretain.com . This product is quite amazing as far as helping with water penetration and retention, especially in very compacted soils. It is available in a convenient hose end sprayer that can be refilled from a bulk container. The hose end sprayer is pre-calibrated to take out the guess work. In Georgia Hydretain® is available at Howard’s Fertilizer Company. The contact number for Jay Fountain, the company rep, is 404-597-6774.« Back to Glossary Index