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How To Control Dollar Spotdollar spot

A common lawn disease which irritates lawn owners because of its ability for uglying up lawns is one known as dollar spot. It may appear as a small patch of what looks like dead grass but if left alone, it can spread all over your lawn, making for an embarrassing eyesore. Unfortunately, it’s easier to prevent dollar spot on your lawn than it is to treat it when discovered on lawns. However, there are ways you can treat this disease and be successful in removing it from your turf.

Dollar spot is a fungal disease that commonly affects closely cut turf. The fungus is not picky in the kinds of grasses it grows on as it can be found in a variety of settings such as golf courses and residential lawns. It often affects bentgrass, bermudagrass, fescue, ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass.

The reason why the fungus is called dollar spot is because of the small, distinct tan circles which form on lawns between 1 to 6” across which are roughly between the size of a silver dollar to the size of a small pancake. While at first, these spots don’t look very serious on their own, they can very easily get out of hand, spreading among your entire lawn with its damage. Dollar spot tends to kill the turf down to the roots, resulting in potential serious scarring of a lawn.

If you have dollar spot present on your lawn, there are ways you can tackle it and run it off your property. At Solutions Pest and Lawn we have all you need to treat this pesky lawn disease the right way.

Browse our dollar spot control products below. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us via email, phone, or online live chat and we will be happy to assist you.

How To Get Rid of Dollar Spot: 4 Step Solution

Removing a lawn disease like dollar spot can be quite a frustrating task as it does not go away very easily. Prevention is often easier to conduct than the cure or fighting the disease. The most important factor in treating a lawn disease is timing. Attacking the disease upon the first signs of it on your lawn will reduce the chances of it spreading and really taking hold on your lawn, which will result in needing to kill your lawn and reseed. Below we have outlined 3 basic steps to follow to successfully conduct a DIY treatment to eliminate dollar spot.


Step 1: To start, it is best to do a careful inspection and identify that the disease on your lawn is indeed dollar spot. There are instances where lawn owners get the disease confused with another fungus or disease like brown patch. There are distinguishing traits which let you know for sure whether or not you have dollar spot but if for any reason you are not sure, you can contact us and take a photo of the grass to send to identification@solutionsstores.com and we will respond back with a correct ID of the fungus and recommend the correct fungicides to treat this lawn disease.


Step 2: Upon ID’ing the plant as dollar spot, you will need to apply fungicide immediately to the affected areas. There is no time to waste. At Solutions, we have recommended fungicides which specifically target dollar spot and can eliminate the problem. We recommend Headway G Fungicide and  Patch Pro Fungicide among others you'll find on our product list.


Follow the instructions on the label carefully and treat the spots right away by spraying liberally on the infected areas.


Step 3: Rotate products regularly. Like we’ve mentioned above, dollar spot is a stubborn lawn disease and can develop a resistance to fungicide products. The way you can lessen resistance is to limit your applications and rotate products until the lawn disease is completely wiped out from your lawn


Step 4: Once dollar spot is eradicated from your lawn, prevent future outbreaks by establishing a regular lawn care routine. Water and mow your lawn regularly especially during the growing season and when conditions are ripe for the potential of disease. Aerate your lawn and give your lawn the proper nutrition by fertilizing in the early spring.


More About Dollar Spot

Dollar spot is a notoriously known lawn disease that affects most turfgrasses. Fortunately, compared to other lawn diseases and fungus it is quite easy to identify. However, it’s the prevention of the disease that is tough to do because it is so prolific and sticks around where it isn’t wanted. Dollar spot won’t leave your lawn without a fight.


What can help you in your battle against dollar spot is education. Here we will share with you some essential information about dollar spot as well as some preventative advice we can give you so you don’t have to always resort to chemical treatment to control dollar spot that has invaded your lawn.


The basics of Dollar Spot

Dollar spot is a lawn disease that is distinguished by its tan colored markings and round patches they form on your turf. The lawn fungus is “coined” (no pun intended) as dollar spot because each spot which appears on your lawn is usually about the size of a silver dollar.

As this lawn fungus grows and establishes itself on turf, the patches can seep into one another to form even larger irregular discolored spots, which can grow to several feet in diameter. Every leaf blade affected by dollar spot will show a unique pattern of tan bands that are colored similar to straw and have margins above and below each strand of grass that is a colored a mix between red and brown.

Dollar spot primarily attacks leaf blades rather than roots or soils. Dollar spot is a common problem which can detrimentally affect a number of different turfgrasses, so prevention is key.

Usually the presence of dollar spot in the lawn is due to lack of nitrogen, but really it has to do with your soil in general being unhealthy. If you have good, solid, organic infused soil, you're not going to get dollar spot.


How does dollar spot thrive in lawns?

Dollar spot prefers to be in turf conditions where these is dry soils and humid air. When the roots of grass are low on water and the leaves of your grass are wet from dew, rain, or irrigation, outbreaks of this lawn disease increase.


This fungus is at its worst in seasons marked by high humidity, low rainfall, and temperatures between 60 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


According to the scientists who have studied the disease, the fungus is believed to be spread by mycelium on infected plant parts (mostly grass clippings). Mycelium can also be carried by the wind, water, or on turf equipment and shoes.


READ MORE: Be Proud of Your Lawn Again With Disease and Fungus Control


Inspecting Your Lawn For Signs Of Dollar Spot

When inspecting your lawn for signs of dollar spot, it's really essential to know what time of year and conditions are ideal for dollar spot to occur and what signs and symptoms to look for, so you can begin your dollar spot treatment as soon as you notice the characteristics of the disease we've discussed.

The ideal circumstances where dollar spot is most prevalent are periods where there is high humidity and high temperatures. These conditions usually take place between the late spring up to early summer, and can come back in the early fall season.

Keep a close eye on your lawn around this time of year (and throughout the growing season) and check specifically for any faint colored or yellow grass. Look closely at the the size and shape of the dead patches, which tend to be the calling card of dollar spot.

The signs of dollar spot can be easily confused with the symptoms of other lawn and fungus diseases, especially dead spot and brown patch. In some cases lawn owners may erroneously diagnose their lawn as having dollar spot when in fact, the damage done was due to hungry turf insects on your lawn.

To be absolutely sure that you are dealing with dollar spot, remember to look for patches of bleached or yellowish-looking turf, which are gathered in a rough circular patch. These can range between a couple inches to several inches in diameter. Each leaf will have lesions or spots of lightened discoloration, which can over time, gradually kill the entire leaf blade.


If you aren't sure if the lawn disease you see dollar spot or if it may be a different turf disease, you can send a photo of your lawn with close ups of the disease to our pros at identification@solutionsstores.com and someone will respond to you with the correct ID of the fungus or disease and present to you options for control.


Is The Disease On Your Lawn Something Else? Check out our full library of lawn fungus and diseases here!


How To Approach Dollar Spot Control

Dollar spot is usually more of an issue on golf courses than it is on residential lawns. But, it can be a terrible eyesore that you'll be able to notice right away when it appears with it's ugly discolored patches surrounded by green grass. Thankfully, they can be pretty easy to overcome with a mixture of good cultural practices and a professional quality fungicide.

Select a fungicide from the list we provided on our page which is labeled to control dollar spot.

  • Preventative fungicide applications are usually not necessary to apply on dollar spot, since contact fungicides are very successful in controlling and eliminating dollar spot.

  • Treat dollar spot as needed at the first sign of the disease.

  • Make sure to read the fungicide label carefully to understand the proper application rates as well as how often the fungicide can be used to treat your lawn.

Alternatively, if you know that dollar spot is a regularly occuring problem every year, you could lay out a fungicide prior to when you've seen dollar spot appearing on your lawn.

Cultural preventative measures to control dollar spot

Preventing dollar spot outbreaks can be much more effective than fighting the disease once it appears in your yard. For effective lawn disease control of dollar spot:

  • Water deeply, but infrequently. During times when the weather conditions promote the growth of dollar spot, be sure to water irregularly, but leave the sprinkler on for at least a couple of hours to mimic the effects of a deep, soaking rainfall. If you wake to heavy dew in the morning, drag the turf with a water hose to remove the precipitation.

  • Mow the right way. Depending on the type of grass you have on your lawn, you will need to apply mowing and lawn care practices which allow your chosen grass to thrive. Speak to a Solutions Pest & Lawn sales representative about the proper mowing schedule for your unique yard to be sure your mowing routine is helping—and not hurting—your lawn.

  • Aerate your lawn. Since dollar spot often springs up on lawns that are thatched and have been put under stress via drought or under watering, lawn aeration can be an effective way to control thatch and improve moisture penetration in your lawn.

  • Fertilize near the end of springtime. Applying a nitrogen rich fertilizer right before the summer season can help to minimize the detrimental effects of dollar spot, since dollar spot tends to really take hold and grow in the summertime.

 Make sure you have the right Equipment!: Shop For Sprayers and Spreaders For Your Lawn Care Applications

If your lawn does develop dollar spot, there are products that can be applied to minimize the spread of this patchy brown lawn disease like the products we have listed above. However, in most cases, sufficient fertilization (without over-fertilization) can enrich your grass to fend off the effects of dollar spot and kick it out of your lawn.


Solutions Pest and Lawn can help you decide how to tackle the problem with helpful free advice and product recommendations so your lawn can recover and be the envy of your neighborhood.


Additional Resources:

Dollar Spot - Center for Turfgrass Science - Penn State University

Dollar Spot | Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment UMass


Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa) - MSU Turf Diseases.



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