Turf Disease and Dollar Spot

The Correlation Between Lawn Watering and Fungus

Dollar Spot is a common fungus found attacking Long Island lawns from late spring to early fall.  Proper water management is key in helping to prevent dollar spot. The fungus starts as a small, light brown spot approximately four inches in size.  If not properly taken care of, it can spread and grow to large, irregular patches up to twelve feet wide.


In many cases, homeowners think the spots are caused by lack of water, so they increase lawn watering.  To their dismay, this actually increases the spread of dollar spot.


In most cases, grass blades would require 14 hours, or more, of moisture in order for turf disease organisms to cause a problem.  To prevent your lawn from receiving too much moisture, we recommend programming your irrigation controller to water between the hours of 1 am and 7 am. Early morning watering helps remove dew and plant exudates from the leaf surface.  This will help reduce the incidence, and spread, of dollar spot.


If you water during daylight hours, allow the grass to dry from overnight moisture for at least one hour before watering.  If you water in the late afternoon, allow the blades of grass to dry completely before night fall. Using chemical control at the first signs of dollar spot development can be successful.  However, once dollar spot gains a foothold and becomes widespread, chemical management can be difficult.

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