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Guess What? Pythium LOVES Water!

May 8, 2013
by Lee Butler

A map of rainfall estimates
Rainfall Estimates for Last 30 Days

If you've learned nothing else about turfgrass diseases, fungi love water and while not technically a fungus, the oomycete Pythium absolutely adores water. Now, you're sitting there thinking "boy, it sure has been wet lately across much of North Carolina, especially in western NC, and instead of reading this blog post, I should be firing up my sprayer and putting out something to prevent Pythium diseases." Well, if that's not the thought you had ... you better switch gears and make it happen.

For those of you managing bermudagrass putting greens or if you're trying to grow in a freshly seeded stand of anything, you better be on the look out for Pythium blight. We have diagnosed Pythium blight on 'Champion', 'Mini Verde', and 'Tifeagle' bermudagrass putting greens over the past couple of weeks. They are not bullet proof folks! We've also seen a lot of yellow patch on the ultradwarfs, but we'll save that for another day.

For those of you managing creeping bentgrass putting greens, you better be starting up your Pythium root rot prevention program. Two of the biggest misconceptions associated with Pythium and creeping bentgrass is that Pythium blight is common on putting green heights and Pythium root rot only occurs during the hot days of summer. Both are false. We rarely see Pythium blight on creeping bentgrass at putting green heights, especially if it's a well established mature stand. We have diagnosed Pythium root rot on creeping bentgrass putting greens in North Carolina in every month except the winter time.

For more information about Pythium blight and root rot, including control recommendations, visit the links below.

Pythium Blight

Pythium Root Rot