Spring Dead Spot (Article from our friends at King Green)

During green up period for Bermuda lawns in late April early May you may notice large circular, or irregular shaped dormant areas. These “dead” spots are actually disease, which is a result of a toxin produced by the fungus, Leptosphaeria korrae. This disease is more commonly known as “Spring Dead Spot”

Spring Dead Spot is present primarily in the northern regions of the Bermuda range, which include Cumming, Alpharetta, and Milton. Complete control of this disease is difficult, we recommend the following steps to ais=d in recovery:

1. Rake affected area and add small amounts of topsoil

2. Core Aerate

A more extreme measure is to remove 6” of the affected grass and soil and replace with new soil and sprigs or pieces of Bermuda sod. Fungicides are not a reliable solution and therefore not recommended.

Spring Dead Spot may be present in the lawn for several years, yet will often resolve on its own.

Dollar spot

Dollar spot is a fungal disease on your Bermuda or Zoysia lawn. It normally starts to occur as early as late May but usually mid June when the summer showers are popping up due to humidity . Heat and humidity of Cumming, Milton, Alpharetta Georgia area will cause the fungus to begin to show up. Our friends at King Green years ago would hit this with fertilize once they noticed it but have lately decided a fungicide works better. You can see there article here https://www.kinggreen.com/the-kings-commentary/articles/articles-59-dollar-spots-disease.


· Pennington seed company had this to say; Symptoms and signs: Grass blades affected with dollar spot look water-soaked and show yellow spots ringed in reddish brown. Yellow-tan, “silver-dollar-size” lawn spots start about 2 to 6 inches wide, but then grow into large, irregular patches. Cobweb-type growth appears between blades.

· Contributing factors: Dollar spot thrives when warm, humid days pair with cool nights. Water stress, from drought or excess moisture, support the disease. Underfertilizing and excess thatch contribute as well. · Cultural control: Fertilize with high-quality nitrogen fertilizers to help keep dollar spot at bay. Avoid water stress. Time irrigation for early morning to reduce the time that grass stays wet. Raise your mowing height during hot periods to limit drought stress.

When cultural controls fail to manage fungal lawn diseases, a lawn fungicide can help. As with garden fungicides, early treatment is key to preventing fungal pathogens from germinating and spreading. Many effective fungicides are available only to lawn professionals. Your local county extension agent is an excellent source for information on lawn fungicides and their use for lawn diseases. Full article; https://www.pennington.com/all-products/grass-seed/resources/how-to-identify-and-control-dollarspot#:~:text=Frequent%20hosts%20of%20dollar%20spot,for%20lawns%20with%20dollar%20spot.


Brown Patch

Brown patch is a summer disease we see begin in Fescue lawn when the heat and humidity builds up in Cumming, Milton, and Alpharetta Georgia. It is only seen in fescue lawns and can be treated with a regular fungicide program starting in May and continued through August to early September. It is import to get the fungicides started as soon as you see the first signs of the fungus to keep your fescue looking beautiful all summer.

We work very closely with King Green for Fertilization, Weed Control and any fungus problems in turf and plants. Here is their article on Brown Patch; https://www.kinggreen.com/the-kings-commentary/articles/articles-84-facts-about-brown-patch-disease

This is what UGA has to say about brown patch and best management practices.

Brown Patch: The symptoms of brown patch can vary depending on the grass cultivar, climatic and atmospheric conditions, and soil management of the turfgrass. This disease typically causes rings and/or patches of blighted turfgrass that measure 5 inches to more than 10 feet in diameter. It also causes leaf spots and “smoke rings” — thin, brown borders around the diseased patches that appear most frequently in the early morning. After the leaves die in the blighted area, new leaves can emerge from the surviving crowns. On wide bladed species, leaf lesions develop with tan centers and dark brown to black margins.


Brown patch favors high relative humidity as well as temperatures of over 80 °F during the day and over 60 °F at night. This disease can be quite active at cool temperatures on warm season grasses in the spring and fall. It also occurs in areas that experience more than 10 hours a day of foliar wetness for several consecutive days. Brown patch infestation is more severe when the turf is cut to a height less than the optimum for the turf-grass being grown. Large patch is favored by high relative humidity as well as temperatures of over 80 °F during the day and over 55 °F at night.


· Use low to moderate amounts of nitrogen, moderate amounts of phosphorous and moderate to high amounts of potash.

· Avoid nitrogen applications when the disease is active.

· Increase the height of cut.

· Increase the air circulation.

· Minimize the amount of shade.

· Irrigate turf early in the day.

· Improve the drainage of the turf.

· Reduce thatch.

· Apply lime if soil pH is less than 6.5

· Remove dew from turf early in the day.

· Fungicides are available to control the disease.




Nutsedge in my lawn:

Nutsedge is very hard to treat. It grows from a tubular root system underground and some root systems could be dormant and sprout suddenly. Typically, it is brought in with new sod. However, we have seen lawns that have been nutgrass free for years that slowly sprout and spread rapidly. This can take a few years of battle to get rid of the problem. We have had lawn maintenance clients fire their lawn care companies due to this nutgrass problem when it’s really not that simple. It requires consistent treatment that may include the homeowner themselves. It’s a consistent process that can be time consuming.

There are chemicals available to take care of it but research shows that each variety must be applied every 30 days consistently. According to the Georgia Gardener Walter Reeves, “The chemical Imazaquin (possibly listed as Image) is the best product to use. It can be used to control yellow or purple nutsedge in Bermuda.” This type of chemical is available in most box stores that sell treatment products. Be mindful to read the label and make sure the type of nutsedge you have is controlled by the product. Also, be aware of when you are spraying. Timing with nutgrass is very important to the success in controlling it. Some chemicals could burn your lawn if it’s too warm out or if it’s not watered properly. You don’t want to do more damage to the lawn.

It is not a good idea to try and pull the nutgrass out. Pulling nutsedge will increase the number of plants because dormant tubers are activated. However, it is possible to control small stands of nutsedge by persistent pulling. Pulling will eventually weaken the plants and cause them to die out. Herbicide treatments are the best way of controlling this pesky weed.


Nutsedge in my Flowers and Plants:

You can follow some of the same procedures as above along with the same chemicals. It is extremely important that you read the label of your choice of herbicide to make sure it is safe for the plant you are spraying in or around. If you have edible plants, do not spray around them.

Possible chemicals to control nutgrass:

1. Pennant (metolachlor) controls yellow nutsedge when applied before the weeds emerge. The other two products work best when applied after the weed has start growing.

2. Basagran T/O (bentazon) is best at controlling yellow nutsedge in certain ornamentals.

3. Image (imazaquin) can control purple nutsedge in select ornamentals.

4. Sedge Hammer (Halosulfuron)


I would say that crabgrass can be one of the most troublesome weeds to have in your lawn or plant beds due the fact that it grows so quickly and can be such and eye soar. The problem with this weed is that treatments that can kill the crabgrass will also kill the lawn. The great news with crabgrass is that it germinates each season from seed. That being the case it can be easily controlled with pre-emergent. Even though it is the great eye soar mentioned above it is probably the easiest the make sure that it never comes up in your lawn or plant beds. We apply pre-emergent for our clients in the plant beds each February so this weed never causes them a problem. If the preemergent are applied at the right time in your lawn you can expect the same result.

At your box stores you can use Preen in plant beds or search the garden center for pre-emergent. As always it is very import to check the label to make sure that the target pest is covered in the product you by. There are products that are more specific and products that may be more expensive initially but will control all your weeds that generate from seed each year

Poa or Poa annua

Our experience here in Cumming GA at Cumming Lawn Care we were in formed by our relation with King Green that we would be seeing more this Poa Annua. There was a break down in the previously used pre-emergent and it wouldn’t control the Poa any longer. This notice had been sent out to King Green from the Horticulture Department at UGA. For the next couple of seasons there was really bad case of this Poa Annua grass. However, it will die out as temps gets hot in late June and July but it isn’t a pretty site in your lawn. We were hearing from our clients that the Fertilizations companies didn’t want to treat for it with Herbicides due the extra expense. The one product that would kill it “Certainty” is a very costly little bottle. You will see as you read on that it also takes the Certainty and preemergent both together to have success. This little grass can take over a lawn quickly and can be difficult to control.

According to The Golf Course Lawn Store. To effectively eliminate annual bluegrass from your lawn, a two-step approach is often necessary. Typically, you will need to employ both post-emergent weed killers and pre-emergent lawn herbicides if you are committed to eradicating this persistent weed from your lawn.

The challenge with Poa annua lies in its tendency to recede and turn brown during hot temperatures. Sometimes, the issue might go unnoticed until those ugly brown patches appear or you find empty spaces within your lawn.

Another thing that makes it tricky to manage is its propensity to thrive in cooler weather, right when your turfgrass is less resilient. During this period, your turfgrass is often in a state of dormancy, leaving the soil more susceptible to weed growth, including annual bluegrass.

Using a post-emergent herbicide is a crucial step in increasing your likelihood of success in eliminating this resilient weed from your lawn. Unfortunately, there are very few selective post-emergent herbicides that work on annual bluegrass, especially for cool-season lawns. This is how the post emergent can help. Certainty Herbicide works by inhibiting the growth of Poa annua at the cellular level. When applied according to the instructions, it selectively targets this weed while leaving your warm-season grasses unharmed

Timing of the post emergent along with spring and fall preemergent is the best was to keep poa annua at bay.


Dove weed

Doveweed is a summer annual grassy weed that is commonly found in the southeastern states, including Cumming, Milton, and Alpharetta Georgia. Its seeds germinate in late spring and flowers in the summer until the first frost.

Doveweed thrives in areas of lawns that have overly moist soil, and can look very similar to Centipede and St. Augustine turfgrasses, allowing it to go unnoticed.

Its prostrate growth habits and creeping stems allow it to spread aggressively.

This weed is very difficult to control. It seems to kill easy but returns the next season despite any control we may try.

In the link below there is a full article to describe more about dove weed from the University of Clemson who has a great Horticulture program. https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/doveweed/



Button Weed

Virginia buttonweed is a challenging to control turfgrass weed that has recently become a prevalent weed in South Carolina lawns. This perennial weed is deeply rooted, produces belowground and aboveground flowers, and spreads by rhizomes (underground stems), as well as by stem pieces cut and distributed during mowing or string trimming. Virginia buttonweed becomes more troublesome and thrives in poorly drained or overly moist lawns caused by excessive rainfall or frequent irrigation.

Its shiny, dark green, lance-shaped leaves are oppositely arranged on the stems and have no petioles (stalks that attach leaves to stems). By late summer, leaves may turn yellow-green due to a viral infection. The flowers are tubular and white with four petals, which are arranged in a four-pointed star. If left uncontrolled, this mat-forming weed can smother out turfgrass.

Our sales rep with King Green has been dealing with this weed for years in his lawn. He kills the entire lawn, starts from scratch and it has returned each time with this method. Still looking for best results to control this weed.

University of Clemson suggest these options for controlling Button Weed

Limit Virginia buttonweed growth by maintaining a healthy and dense turfgrass. Water the lawn deeply but infrequently to allow the surface soils to dry between watering, thus improving turfgrass root depth. Best watering practices is to ensure your lawn gets at least 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Additionally, correct any drainage problems to reduce wet areas within the lawn.

Core aerate the lawn to improve internal soil drainage, reduce soil compaction, and aid in root growth. For more information on core aeration,

Apply fertilizers and lime based on soil test results (your UGA county extension agent can help with soil test https://extension.uga.edu/county-offices/forsyth/contact-us.html


Hand pulling Virginia buttonweed is ineffective as a control because pieces of roots and stems that remain can re-sprout.

Chemical Controls: Managing Virginia buttonweed in a lawn may require two years of post-emergence herbicide applications. For best control, begin herbicide applications in the spring when the plants are coming out of dormancy and producing tender, new growth. Spring herbicide applications also help control the young seedlings growing in the lawn and prevent large mats of growth that can smother out turfgrass by late summer. In late summer, older Virginia buttonweed plants are much more tolerant of selective herbicides, making controls less effective. Full article: https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/virginia-buttonweed/

Dallis Grass


Grass is a clumpy, grassy weed common in the Southeast. This is the problem grass you see “pop up” the day after mowing. This grassy weed is sometimes confused with Crabgrass.

Crabgrass is an annual and can be controlled with the use of a pre-emergent herbicide, whereas Dallis Grass is a perennial and cannot be controlled with a pre-emergent.

Dallis Grass reproduces through seeds and rhizomes (underground creeping stems), so controlling this weed by mowing will not stop further invasion in your lawn.Dallis Grass can “overtake” your lawn if left unchecked.

The best solution for a small problem is to dig it out, taking care to get all of the root.Also, spot spraying with Round-up is an option, but care must be taken to minimize damage on Bermuda from Round-up overspray.

The Bermuda will creep back and cover up the area that was sprayed with Round-up.

Full article by King Green; https://www.kinggreen.com/the-kings-commentary/articles/articles-14-what-is-dallis-grass