General: Rust is a disease which can occur on all turfgrass species. Grasses growing under stressful environmental conditions are most easily affected. However, the disease seldom does serious damage.
Causes: Periods of two to three days of overcast or cloudy weather, air temperatures in the low 70’s, and high humidity brought on by fog or frequent light rain showers, followed by bright and sunny weather with air temperatures in the 80’s.
Symptoms: Early symptoms of rust appear as light, yellow flecks on the leaves or stems. These enlarge as the infection matures. When rust is severe, the turf may appear thin and weak with an orange tint. It may also leave an orange or ‘rusty’ appearance on your shoes.
Control: Increase mowing frequency, especially in the fall, to enhance growing conditions and to remove infected leaf areas. Additional nitrogen fertilizer may also be necessary to increase growth and recovery. In severe cases, it may be a good idea to remove grass clippings to reduce the threat of continued infection.
Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions about this disease.