Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Dollar Spot So Far

So far so good...

I am very confident in saying that my organic pest control for dollar spot works. It is actually the best control I have ever seen on my putting greens. So far this season I have only seen one single spot on my putting greens. Even with synthetic pesticides I still had more, mind you I wasn't using the synthetics preventatively.

So far I am using the following strategies for dollar spot control:

  1. Light and frequent soluble nitrogen applications (urea) while ensuring adequate soil moisture for nutrient uptake with a soil moisture meter.
  2. Rolling 1-2x daily as needed.
  3. Civitas applied at the 1/4 rate weekly to keep the colour down.
  4. Phosphites applied weekly in my fertilizer applications.
  5. Rhapsody ASO fungicide applied at the low rate every 2 weeks.
Other than the Urea fertilizer applications everything above is considered organic. All of the actual pest control products are registered organic by the OMRI .


Fairways are feeling the pain
I know what I am doing is working as the disease potential is very high right now. Our fairways are smoked with dollar spot. This is due to the fact that the only management practices that are carried out on the fairways is cutting, fertilization, and irrigation. That is all, no pesticides whatsoever. So it is expected to see disease on our fairways at all times of the year. We are also struggling to keep adequate moisture levels in our fairways due to dense thatch layers and a poor performing irrigation system. Moisture is key to ensure adequate nutrient uptake which isn't happening on our fairways at all.

Typical putting green turf under organic pest management.
 I have left a few control areas on the course to evaluate my different product applications and management practices and I have to say that they all work, alone and together!

So far I am seeing civitas and rolling alone providing complete control. I haven't seen any difference with the Rhapsody control plots though that is to be expected when virtually every square centimeter of my putting greens is rolled at least once a day.
I have to say that I am a little disappointed though. With the success of all of these products alone and combined it is quite clear that I am wasting resources if I continue to keep using them all. I will continue with the program for the rest of the month but will seriously have to consider using all of the tools next dollar spot season. Right now I am thinking of using civitas and rolling only due to their mode of action on the dollar spot fungus.

Adequate soil moisture is key.
So who knew? It turns out that in my climate organic pest control is very doable during the summer months. I even feel that in slightly more extreme climates success could be had if all of these practices were combined. If history means anything I should be back into fusarium season in a month. I plan on maintaining the organic pest control plan into the fall depending on the success rate. So far I have had experience with only phosphites in the winter months with no overwhelming control.

Stay tuned.....