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How To Control Take All Root Rotroot rot

While springtime may be a great time to enjoy the weather and spend time outdoors, the cool temperatures and frequent rainfall create the ideal conditions for fungus and lawn disease to establish themselves on your lawn. For a lot of these diseases, having a healthy vigorous lawn to stand up to these unwanted invaders is enough to keep them at bay, however some fungus and diseases will make their way onto your turf no matter what maintenance measures you conduct, if the conditions are right for them. This is especially the case with a fungal disease known as Take-All Root Rot.

Take-All Root Rot has been infecting lawns all over the southern United States where the weather is warmer and more humid. The state where this fungal outbreak is the most prominent is in Texas. TARR can make its way on a variety of grasses. St. Augustine, Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass or Centipedegrass are all susceptible to the disease as well as fescue and ryegrass. If left to its own devices, take-all root rot can quickly kill off significant parts of your turf, or even your entire lawn.

Signs of take-all root rot are usually very subtle that most lawn owners won’t notice the infection right away. Young leaf blades often begin to yellow or turn a faint colored green. This is often misdiagnosed as being a nutrient deficiency or damage caused by chinch bugs. The problem is then realized when they because to go very brown and die off in an irregular pattern. At worst, the roots can all die off and kill the entire grass and become replaced on your lawn.

If your lawn comes down with take-all root rot, we advise you to act quickly in treating it before it takes over. At Solutions Pest and Lawn, we can equip you with effective control products and also help be offering free how-to advice.

Browse our take-all root rot control products below. If you have any questions or would like more how-to advice on how to stop take-all root rot, give us a call, chat with us online or send us an email. We are always standing by and are eager to help.

How To Get Rid of Take-All Root Rot: 3 Step Solution

Take-all root rot can be a difficult disease to remove from your lawn and can be quite frustrating for even the most seasoned of lawn owners. Simply removing the lawn and re-sodding with the same grass won’t solve the problem; your new sod will simply become infected again by the disease. We recommend a chemical means of control as well as some patience and diligence on your end to ensure a successfully removal. Below we have laid out a simple three step plan you can follow to stop take-all root rot and keep it gone.

Step 1: Start with a careful inspection of the problem. While it make look like take-all root rot, it may not be and the cause may be a different disease or pest problem all together. Misdiagnoses happen so you have to inspect to be sure what you have is indeed TARR. If for some reason you are not completely sure, you can take a photo of your lawn and send it to us via email at identification@solutionsstores.com and we will provide you with the proper ID of the disease as well as offer you recommendations of control products to alleviate the problem.

Step 2: Once you have confirmed that what you have on your lawn is indeed take-all root rot, you can then move to treatment. We suggest a mixture of fungicides as well as adopting the proper cultural control practices such as adequately watering the lawn and mowing to remove the disease. Timing is important when using fungicides. The best time for application is in the springtime or fall. Mix the fungicide in a hand-held sprayer with an adequate amount of water (refer to the product label for proper application rates) and apply generously to the affected areas. The water will ensure that the product moves into the grass stolon and root zone rather than drying on the leaves. Re-application may be necessary to ensure the problem has been totally neutralized.

Step 3: Once take-all root rot is no longer on your lawn, you will need to engage in preventative measures to prevent it from returning to your yard. Some of the conditions where take-all root rot may form are: —excessive shade, herbicide injury, soil compaction, temperature extremes, imbalanced soil fertility, inappropriate irrigation scheduling, improper mowing height or frequency or any other condition which weakens the turf. By addressing these conditions, you can ensure that your lawn is healthy and vibrant and take all-root rot will be a problem of the past.


Learn More About Take All Root Rot

Take all root rot is a fungal disease that results in a weak, brown, dead patches in turfgrass which becomes very lethargic and goes through stunted growth. For the last 10 to 15 years or so, take all root rot has become a particularly large problem in hot and humid southern states such as Texas and other areas around the south.


Take all root rot has been known to have a major detrimental affect on both St. Augustinegrass and bermudagrass. Another name for the disease because of the bermudagrasses it affects is bermudagrass decline.


Take all root rot takes hold on a lawn due to a fungus known as Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis, which lives in the soil and comes alive and activates itself when the conditions are ideal for it to thrive. The fungus is found in many areas of Texas and is commonly found in both disease-stressed lawns as well as lawns which appear to look healthy.


Take all root rot can be found living in thatch, which is a layer of plant roots, stolons (shoots that grow horizontally along the ground surface), and dead or decaying leaf litter. The fungus can produce spores but spreads mainly through the roots and stolons. The disease is not usually transported by lawn care equipment or foot traffic. The way it is usually dispersed is via infected grass, thatch or dirt being transferred from one area to another.


Signs of Take All Root Rot

Take all root rot usually appears in the spring or early summertime when the turfgrass first begins to emerge after being dormant for the winter. However, the disease may appear anytime during the growing season if the lawn is going through stress caused by extreme heat, drought conditions, shady areas, alkaline in the soil, or water that has high sodium.


The most clear symptom of take all root rot is the emergence of yellowed leaf blades which eventually become brown and begin wilting. What follows is the turf begins thinning, and what is left are brown irregular looking patches which range between 1 foot to as much as 20 feet in diameter.


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Ruling Out Other Problems Which Look Similar To Take All Root Rot

Take all root rot can be a issue which lawn owner may mistake for some other type of lawn problem which has similar symptoms of the disease. For instance they may believe that the issue on their lawn stems from another common lawn disease known as large patch or they may believe the dead grass may be the handiwork of lawn insects such as chinch bugs.


Either of these issues will require a different approach and different treatment products so you don’t want to waste time, money and energy treating your lawn for something it doesn’t have. So what you will want to do is take some tests to rule out these other problems so you know for sure that issue you have on your lawn and treat it accordingly if it is indeed take all root rot.


For instance, to rule out the possibility of chinch bugs you will have to examine your lawn closely. Chinch bugs are a quick moving insect and are about the size of a grain of rice which makes it difficult to spot them with a glance.


An easy way to confirm the presence of plant eating chinch bugs is to mix dishwasher liquid with a gallon of water in a bucket. Use the bucket to pour the soapy water mixture over a piece of your turf, about 1 square yard then watch closely to see if you’ll catch chinch bugs floating or scattering around.


You see them in large numbers moving around and notice that they are black in color with white wings. Chinch bugs which haven’t reached adulthood are smaller and reddish colored. If you see many emerge, this may be the reason your turf is looking the way it is.


There are instances where both take all root rot and chinch bugs may be present so you would need to utilize an insecticide and a fungicide to get rid of both problems


To rule out the chances that the issue is a different lawn disease like large patch you will need to take note of the time of the year has well as the characteristics of the turf. Large patch infested grass leaves will often have a slimy, dark brown lesion at the base of the leaf, which isn’t a characteristic of take all root rot.


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Inspecting Your Lawn For Take All Root Rot

The reason that take all root rot is named as such is because the fungal disease tends to remove the grass from your lawn so you end up with a bare spot; it takes everything so all you’re left with is just dirt, thus, it earns its name: take all root rot.


Generally you’ll find it in the shady areas of the lawn like most lawn disease problems.When conducting an inspection for take all root rot, examine the roots of infects grass closely to properly diagnose the issue.


Take all root rot causes a rotting of the stolon itself, the actual runner of the grass, as well at the roots. If you pull out a runner you will see that it browns or almost blackens lengthwise down the stolon. If you start to pull the stolon up from the dirt, you’ll see that the roots themselves are short, blackened and rotting.


Healthy roots are usually a light creamy white color and pulling the plant out from the root would take some effort because it would be planted firmly. A lawn infected with the disease of take all root rot, the plants could be tugged out from the soil with little to no effort, similar to a lawn grub problem.


Preventing Take All Root Rot

As with most lawn and fungal diseases, prevention is better than the cure, meaning it’s easier to keep take all root rot away with preventative measures than it is to deal with getting rid of take all root rot which is already present on your lawn.


The best way to keep take all root rot from messing up your lawn is to take proper care of your grass. The disease can became a major issue when the turfgrass is under stress due to unfavorable weather conditions, and poor lawn care maintenance--too much shade, injury due to the use of herbicides, compacted soil, extreme temperatures, imbalance in fertilized soil, bad watering routine, mowing at the wrong height or mowing infrequently-- are all factors which can weaken the turf and make it susceptible to take all root rot disease.


Promote the growth of healthy roots as much as possible. Make sure you address any water drainage issues at and below the soil surface. Areas of your lawn which stay wet are prone to the disease. Improve the drainage, and make sure not to over water your lawn. It is better to water infrequently but deeply (6 to 8 inches deep) than to give the grass frequent, shallow watering.


Have the soil tested, then fertilize on the basis of the test results. If excessive thatch has accumulated, this can also make the conditions ripe for take all root rot to take hold. Applying too much nitrogen encourages thatch to accumulate, making the turfgrass more vulnerable to disease outbreak and other environmental stress      .

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Control Options For Take All Root Rot

Once take-all root rot has been established on your lawn, a combination of fungicides and proper cultural practices, such as mowing and watering, will be effective in eliminating the problem. The best times to apply fungicides are in the spring and fall. Mix the fungicide with plenty of water (4 to 5 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet) and thoroughly water the grass immediately after application (between ¼ to ½ inches).


To help the fungicide get better penetration in the soil, rake and remove any infected or dead plant materials before treatment. Fungicides are best used as preventive measures before symptoms develop. Aside from this, you could also lay out peat moss as a natural method of keeping take all root rot under control.


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The best fungicide options for Take All Root Rot which we recommend include products which contain the active ingredient Thiophanate (Quali-Pro TM 85 WDG Fungicide) and Azoxystrobin (Heritage Fungicide) You could also try products which contain propiconazole (Patch Pro Fungicide and Propiconazole 14.3 Fungicide) Make sure to check the label for proper usage instructions.



Take all root rot is a fungal disease that occurs in the shade can spread very quickly without intervention. While it may be a difficult lawn disease to eliminate combining cultural control measures with selected fungicides you may be able to control the issue.


Additional Resources:


Take-All Root Rot on St. Augustine Grass - - Plant Care Today

[PDF]TAKE-ALL ROOT ROT - Backed by Bayer

[PDF]Take-All Root Rot on St. Augustinegrass - Alabama Cooperative

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