Friday, August 30, 2013

Pythium Spp.

The Stubborn High Pressure system stalled in the Midwest has pumped tropical air and heat (the dampest/warmest air of the summer,) into our area the past several days has created an environment perfect for Pythium development.  This disease is capable of killing turf in a matter of hours.  Spreads like wildfire under foot, mowers and on golf cart wheels.  This disease develops rapidly when dew points are in the upper 60's and 70's like we've experienced here lately.  Some grasses are more susceptible than others.  The disease has the appearance of a bread mold and for that reason it sometimes goes by the name "Cottony Blight." The disease pictured above came from the Fescue seed evaluation plots that are constantly damp due to frequent irrigation needed to germinate seedlings for establishment.  The perfect scenario for this disease development.  I haven't detected Pythium on the course yet, but I'm certain it is lurking beneath in the turfs canopy on our lower holes in shaded areas that stay moist later into the day.  As a side note; I last detected this disease on your course in 1986, my first year here as your new Golf Course Superintendent.  _Mk