Lawn Disease – Ascochyta

(Ascochyta spp.)

Ascochyta is a rapidly spreading turfgrass disease resulting in large areas of bleached, blighted turf in your lawn. Ascochyta affects several different turfgrass species throughout the northern United States, with most damage occurring during the summer months.     

Identifying Ascochyta -

Ascochyta infections can be identified by large, uniform areas of affected turf turning straw colored. In some instances, “pockets” of infection may cause a patchy appearance in a lawn or landscaping area. Closer examination of the turf will show healthy leaves and infected leaves interspersed.

The individual leaf blades usually start dying from the tips downward, with the bleached area extending toward the leaf base. The margin between the diseased tissue and healthy tissue develops an abrupt, pinched appearance.

This disease may show symptoms that resemble Dollar Spot but lacks the “hourglass” shaped lesions on the grass blade. The symptoms normally start at the tip of the grass blades.

Lawn Disease Ascochyta

Lawn Disease Ascochyta - Disease Conditions

Conditions for Ascochyta Infection -

Ascochyta can only lead to an infection in your lawn if all of the following conditions are present:

1. Pathogen – Ascochyta (Ascochyta spp.)

2. Host – Bentgrasses, fescues, Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass

3. Environment – Cooler climates with high humidity - often occurs during wet periods in the spring months

Ascochyta Control -

Cultural disease control practices create favorable conditions for a healthy lawn, and often create unfavorable conditions for the growth of Ascochyta. Environmental conditions cannot be changed, but cultural practices performed by the homeowner can be modified to lessen the chance of extensive damage from Ascochyta. Scotts LawnService can help determine a plan for preventing and controlling Ascochyta in your lawn.

For Ascochyta control and treatment, Scotts LawnService recommends the following cultural control tips:

  • Aerate the lawn to reduce thatch levels
  • Keep the grass mowed at 2½” to 3” and keep the mower blades sharp
  • Water in the morning and as infrequently as possible, but maintain adequate moisture: this will allow the leaf blades to dry more quickly
  • Avoid excessive applications of fertilizers with high levels of nitrogen

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Ascochyta control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.