Diseases Diseases

About Buffalo Grass Turf Diseases


Having a beautiful, green lawn is usually very important to a homeowner. One way to ensure this will happen is by planting buffalo grass. Because it can withstand drought, buffalo grass is very popular in the United States.

Buffalo grass is perennial turf grass that can grow to be about twelve inches tall if not trimmed regularly. It has soft, curly blades that are usually a greenish gray color. It grows only in warm weather and is dormant in the winter.

Fortunately for homeowners, buffalo grass doesn't require too much maintenance. However, if one is not careful, it can develop any number of turf diseases. Here is a look at some of those turf diseases.



Brown Patch Disease

Brown patch disease is one of the many common turf diseases that can be found in buffalo grass. It generally appears in the spring and summer when temperatures are well over 80 degrees and the air is humid. The buffalo grass blades will have tan spots on them, as well as purple outlines, and they will begin dying in patches. The best way to prevent brown patch disease is to water your buffalo grass during the daytime and never over-fertilize it.

A similar turf disease is called summer patch disease. It also invades your buffalo grass during warm, humid summers. If you notice the roots or tips of your grass blades getting darker or patches of your grass turning yellow, you more than likely have summer patch disease. Again, this can be prevented by not over-fertilizing your grass and checking the pH levels in your soil.  



Bermuda Decline

Bermuda decline is another one of the common turf diseases that may affect your buffalo grass, though you may know it as another name, such as take-all patch or take-all root. Unlike brown patch disease, Bermuda decline generally strikes during the fall and winter months, when the weather is moist and the temperatures are cool. When your lawn is affected, you will notice that blades of grass will become yellow and die. The roots will also begin to rot or show damage. If not controlled, Bermuda decline can kill an entire lawn, and if you try to regrow your buffalo grass in an diseased area, it can be slow or won't grow at all.

The best way to deal with Bermuda decline is to prevent it, as it can be very hard to get rid of. Often times, homeowners will need to use chemical methods to rid their lawns of the this, one of the more serious turf diseases. Not over watering your buffalo grass, using preventative fungicides and watching the pH levels in your soil are a few ways to prevent Bermuda decline. 


Leaf Spot

Another turf disease that occurs in the fall and winter is leaf spot. You will notice your blades of grass developing brown or black spots that will keep growing and getting bigger in size. Eventually, if the spots reach the tip of the grass, it will kill it. However, the onset of warmer, dryer weather can prevent it from reaching this stage. To prevent leaf spot, never water your buffalo grass too much or at night and never over-fertilize it.

By Sarah Anderson, published at 03/23/2012
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