Heat wave, humid, rain birings on pythium- January 2017

Happy new year everyone I hope you had some time to enjoy with family and friends.

What a start to the year heat waves in Victoria, WA, SA NSW. Storms in QLD and everything in between.


Non disease Issues you may face

I have been seeing quite a few sick started to see a few sick turf surfaces around the place just due to sheer pressure from the heat, lack of rain and too much rain. One thing to keep in mind when there has not been alot of rain like especially here in Sydney is to look sodium levels. i have seen this season and in the past poa really going off colour and t

Generally speaking this may not be an issue every year or your water source might be quite low in sodium generally speaking. However this does change over time and has to be monitored. As well having low levels is good but bare in mind putting on a little all the time will build up in the soil and the plant and cause the plant to suffer. Keep this in mind this season, look at an few applications of a product that will reduce sodium levels. Talk to your local rep on this as this issue can be the underlying cause of disease especially pythium..

Another issue you may see is nematodes. Again you may not have a history or testing for them numbers have come back low. However I remember a talk I heard on nematodes from David Westall he always said that the numbers don’t tell the whole story and your threshold may be different to the person down the road.

If your turf is stressed and the root system has shrunken you are more prone to an attack as the plant can’t fight them off naturally.so keep an eye out.

With these conditions you need to look at for the remainder of the summer is your spray program.Normally 3 week intervals are working but with this much pressure you need to look at shortening intervals to 2 weeks. On top of that a in between spray may be needed just to top things with the onset of heavy rains.

The week ahead


Pythium is one disease that will be present now.

Water logged greens are a perfect environment for Pythium root rot. You can see Pythium as patterns in greens that follow the drainage lines. Equipment use also spreads the disease. If you have a short root system with compacted soil and poor drainage, your turf will need extra light watering to keep it alive. This will increase Pythium pressure, due to plant wetness. On the other hand, deep infrequent watering can increase Pythium pressure as well as the roots and the soil are being completely soaked which is conducive to Pythium outbreaks. Very hard to win in this situation. That is why it is important to maintain healthy turf and to use specific Pythium fungicides on a preventative basis.

Apply your fungicide (use Proplant here) down past the leaf and crown do not leave on the surface with application (water in slightly after your boom application)

Proplant image

As always we do recommend a broad spectrum tank mix partner with Proplant (as its is specific to pythium only) as when we were anyalysing the samples in the trials we always found other diseases namely brown patch. So have a look at partnering Proplant with Ippon, 250GT, Protak, Monstar,

Also be aware of algae with all the wet surfaces. A good mix is Dacogreen + Liquid Dek here.

Cultural Controls of Pythium:

  • Avoid too much N
  • Aerate the area slightly to allow more oxygen to penetrate the soil
  • Utilise pentrant wetting agents to push the moisture through the profile-I don’t tend to recommend to use with Proplant as it may push past the plant where you need to target the spray
  • Keep plants healthy as possible with using root stimulants and other biological products
  • Avoid mowing in moist hot weather
  • Raise mowing heights
  • Avoid verti cutting, top dressing if greens are infected  as it puts more stress on the plant
  • Reduce leaf wetness
  • Increase air flow and sunlight to Pythium prone areas
  • Reduce sodium levels
  • Monitor for insects

For more information see the brochure here Proplant Brochure Also have a look at our guide to managing pythium not just from a chemical point of view but from a cultural view. Disease guide rhizo eri pythium 2014

I hope this post helps understand the disease a little better and how to manage it.

Also I am heading to to the USA to GIS again and will be attending a few lectures that i will post about later on. You will be able to follow what is going on through my twitter feed.

As usual if you need any help feel free to contact me