A holistic approach to decreasing dollar spot severity and over-wintering inocula of Sclerotinia homoeocarpa
Workman, John Barrett
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A common fungal disease of warm- and cool-season turfgrasses is dollar spot, caused by Sclerotinia homoeocarpa. Epidemics occur when temperatures rise above 10°C, and continue until temperatures exceed 32°C. The disease is characterized by straw-colored sunken spots approximately 5 cm in diameter on closely mown turf. While fungicides are commonly used to control dollar spot, development of fungicide resistant populations and associated costs has stimulated the need to study other methods of disease management. An alternative in disease management is the development and use of composts that can be incorporated into turfgrass maintenance by replacing sand used in topdressings. The objectives of this research were to evaluate compost’s ability to limit the severity of dollar spot and to assess microbial activity associated with compost of different origins. Results indicate there is opportunity for compost materials to be incorporated into the turfgrass canopy for disease suppression and potentially mitigate pesticide use.