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Natural Sciences Education Abstract - Student Essays

Suppression of Turfgrass Diseases through Manipulation of Soil pH


This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 37 No. 1, p. 38-42
    Received: Feb 2, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): rweil@umd.edu
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  1. Frank J. Duda *
  1. c/o R.R. Weil, Dep. of Environmental Science and Technology, H.J. Patterson Hall, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742


The role of soil pH and its management to suppress disease severity by cultural means is a topic of great interest to turfgrass managers. If sufficient control can be obtained prior to infection and outbreak, the use of fungicides can be minimized, reducing the amount of money appropriated for chemical control in a budget. Several diseases are controlled through simple management practices such as examining the microclimate of the area, the use of lime, sulfur, or choosing the appropriate nitrogen source. Control of Centipede Decline can be obtained by raising the soil pH to 6.2 or higher and reducing the total amount of fertilizer applied annually. Summer Patch control in Kentucky bluegrass is achieved through acidification of the soil pH, especially in the spring when infection occurs. Take-All Patch is also controlled through acidifying techniques which favor manganese uptake and the growth of antagonistic microbes that help to suppress the pathogen. Brown Patch may also be suppressed by altering the soil pH when turf is grown in a soil with an extreme pH. Altering the soil pH by various techniques allows for appropriate control by cost-effective and environmentally friendly means that alleviate the stress on an annual budget by reducing the allocation of money for fungicides.

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Copyright © 2008. Copyright © 2008 by the American Society of Agronomy