Brown Spots in Your Bermuda? It’s Dollar Spot.

Dollar spot is a fungus that affects both bermuda grass and zoysia grass.  If you’re finding small brown spots about the size of a silver dollar (a few inches across), it’s likely dollar spot.  Another tell tale sign of dollar spot is a lesion on the grass blade, particularly on the edge of the blade of grass.  Occasionally these lesions will go all the way across the blade which will cause the entire tip of the blade to die and turn brown.  In extreme cases these spots can bunch together masking itself as brown patch.  You’re also much more likely to notice dollar spot when you’ve closely mowed your bermuda or zoysia lawn.

Dollar SpotIf your lawn has fallen victim to dollar spot there are a couple of different reasons to consider.

Your nice and hardy bermuda grass is much more likely to develop dollar spot during a drought.  These dry soil conditions are the perfect breeding ground for this fungus.  Even a sufficient source of moisture like a morning dew, fog, or weekly watering will keep dollar spot at bay.

In the spring and fall, when temperature conditions are 60ºF-80ºF, is when disease development is most likely.  Normally the nights are cool and the days are warm when the conditions are just right for this fungus to run rampant.

If you’ve correctly diagnosed the problem the first thing to try is watering the grass.  Be sure to water the grass early in the morning so it will dry quickly.  This will give the bermuda or zoysia ample water to grow and reduce the severity of the disease.   If after 2 weeks your lawn isn’t recovering it’s time to move on to a fungicide.  The chemical for the job is Daconil 2787.  Be sure to read all safety labels and follow them closely.

To keep your lawn from getting dollar spot in the first place be sure to fertilize your lawn and irrigate deeply at least once per week.  Since dollar spot thrives in the absence of nitrogen it’s ideal to get a hardy dose of fertilizer on your lawn.  This should already be in your yearly lawn maintenance schedule.

Comments

  1. Royal Thorpe says:

    I have many large brown spots appearing in my yard. In the morning they have a slight circle of a whitish foam like around the outer edge. They range in size from as little as 8 inches to 2 feet. They seem to slowly spread bigger. This is in far eastern TN. Any idea what I have?

  2. Natural Green Grass Patch is a product that I love to use on my brown spots. I’m not exactly sure what causes the brown, but I know I don’t like the way it looks. I just spray the product on the brown and it immediatly turns the grass green again. My lawn always looks perfect and no one can tell that I use product on it. Probably won’t cure the disease, but it makes it look good!

  3. I have little brown balls in the drier parts of my lawn…what is this?

  4. I have bermuda grass and notice by my right side of the lawn it looks almost dead. I do not know what to do. I have a lawn service which I called about the problem they’re saying it’s because it’s getting too much shade but I noticed I have other spots that are in full sun and same thing happening. What kind of grass can I plant if it is too much shade?????? Help please.

  5. Millie Tyler says:

    We have thousands of spots all over our front yard’s Bermuda grass. It reminds me of a leopard’s spots. It resembles the pictures of Dollar Spot however it’s been fed and has had plenty of water. Our lawn maintenance company didn’t feed the grass until the last week of May, 2 weeks ago. Was that too late? Should it have been fed earlier in the spring?

  6. Karen Luczkowski says:

    I have brown spots all over my lawn. Fungicide was applied with no help. Every year it starts off perfect and by mid July spots start to appear. I have a service lawn company that keeps saying aerate which I have done to no avail. HELP HELP

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