Spring dead spot and root rot control

By Lane Tredway, Ph.D., technical services manager for Syngenta

Spring dead spot is the most destructive disease of bermudagrass turf. Although symptoms appear in spring, fall is the key time to protect your turf against spring dead spot. Preventive applications must be made before the bermudagrass goes dormant so the active ingredient can be absorbed and translocated. Two applications on a 28-day interval beginning when soil temperatures decline to 70° F are recommended in most cases.

Syngenta offers several of the most effective options for spring dead spot control (reinforced by an assurance program) – including Posterity®, Posterity Forte, Velista® and Headway® fungicides. Which product fits best for a particular golf course varies by region and the spectrum of other diseases at risk. Typical recommendations for spring dead spot control on golf course turf are as follows:

Golf course greens:

  • Posterity Forte (0.84 fl. oz./1000 ft.2) is the best option for bermudagrass putting greens. Not only does it provide leading prevention of spring dead spot control, it also helps to prevent take-all root rot as part of an overall program.
  • Syngenta offers a Spring Dead Spot/Take-all Root Rot Assurance Program for bermudagrass putting greens. Follow the recommended program including Briskway® fungicide, Posterity Forte, and Headway, and Syngenta will provide product for rescue applications if unacceptable breakthrough occurs.
  • All applications should be watered-in immediately with at least 0.15 in. of irrigation.

Golf course tees, fairways and roughs:

  • Posterity Forte at 27 to 36 fl. oz./A or Posterity at 10.5 to 14 fl. oz./A (two applications on a 28-day interval) are recommended. 
  • Higher rates are recommended for severe outbreaks or when the tolerance for breakthrough is very low. Lower rates have performed well in the Southeastern US as part of a long-term preventive program.
  • Where large patch is also a concern, Posterity XT (98 fl. oz./A) provides excellent large patch prevention when applied for spring dead spot, so is recommended for zoysiagrasses or bermudagrasses that are prone to this disease. Headway is also a key component to the Large Patch Prevention Assurance.
  • All applications should be watered-in immediately with at least 0.15 in. of irrigation.

Spring Dead Spot Control in ‘Champion’ Bermudagrass – Jim Kerns, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC

All treatments applied on Oct. 17 and Nov. 21, 2019. Photos taken on May 26, 2020.

Proper timing of spring dead spot applications (when soil temperatures decline to 70° F) is essential to get the best results. Warm temperatures have lingered deep into the fall in recent years, so the traditional applications in mid-September and mid-October have been too early. To monitor current soil temperatures in your area and receive email alerts for key pests, sign up for automated soil temperature alerts.

For more information about spring dead spot and available control options, view the Posterity XT and Posterity Forte technical brochure, view the spring dead spot solutions sheet or watch this GCSAA webinar on preventing spring dead spot.

All photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.

© 2022 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Briskway®, Greencast®, Headway®, Posterity®, Velista® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective company.

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