Summer fungal disease in cool season turf (fescue, bluegrass, etc.) is the biggest problem facing our lawns in warm climates. As with most disease issues, the problem is best combated with lively soil that is full of strong, beneficial fungi that can combat weaker, harmful fungi. A commonly recommended cure for fungus is to spray with a fungicide. Most of the time, I disagree with this because most fungicides kill all fungi, including the fungi that can prevent and defeat fungal disease. Using this treatment, we are likely to have the same problem every year, because we are destroying our only hope for a natural fungus control when we kill all fungi. I have been a huge proponent of using our John & Bob’s System to build complex life in the soil to prevent and/or defeat destructive fungus in turfgrass. 

To that protocol, we are adding a new organic John & Bob’s fungicide called Citral-Blast. We make it with Garlic Oil, Lemon Grass, Thyme Oil, Humic acid and some other special ingredients to build the soil and kill bad fungus at the same time. We are currently in the registration process and we will be selling it sometime in 2013 so stay tuned for more exciting details on that! This ability to build good microbial life while discouraging and eradicating bad fungal activity, is unique and powerful.

 We had the opportunity to treat a lawn this summer that was infected with large infestations of Rhizoctonia (brown patch) and Pythium to a lesser degree. The simplest way to stop these diseases is to dry out the lawn, even to the extent of dry spots in the lawn. It is moisture and high temperatures that feed these fungal diseases. On July 25th of 2012 we cut the water way back, treated with John & Bob’s OPTIMIZE, MAXIMIZE, PENETRATE & NOURISH-Biosol and with our new Citral-Blast. The lawn looked terrible on this day (see photos) and my experience is that even if we kill the fungus, turf recovery and excellence takes forever. Every 7 days I reapplied Citral-Blast and after 3 weeks (August 15) I increased the irrigation to normal levels. On Sept 4th I reapplied John & Bob’s OPTIMIZE, NOURISH-Biosol and MAXIMIZE. By September 17th I was stunned as to the beauty (see photos) of the turf and amazed at the speed of the recovery. We still had hot weather in September and October and yet the lawn recovered fully, even before the weather changed dramatically. My experience was we never were able to achieve full recovery without a full seasonal change, until now.

Treating the fungus with natural products that are good for the lawn and soil while applying microbes, food for microbes and attractants for microbes in our OPTIMIZE, MAXIMIZE, NOURISH- Biosol and PENETRATE, worked better than anything else I have witnessed in my 35 years of addressing these type of problems.   You can order the John and Bob’s system online today by clicking here or look for it in your local garden center. Stay tuned to our website for details about the release of Citral-Blast next year!