En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Habiturf installation after Take-All fungus

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - January 24, 2012

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Soils, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Habiturf installation after Take-All fungus
Answered by: Becky Ruppel and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

Are other soil remedies needed (besides those listed in your Habiturf brochure) to install Habiturf on land which had a St. Augustine lawn which was decimated by take all patch.

ANSWER:

I consulted with Mark Simmons, the Director of the Ecosystem Design Group here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, who is in charge of the Habiturf development and research and he said Habiturf hasn’t been tested against Take-All fungus, however it is not listed as a host for Take-All fungus.

In general, the soil preparations (e.g. deep tilling and compost) needed for Habiturf will give you a good chance at beating the Take-All root rot.  However, since you likely have spores from the fungus in your soil, treating your soil with a fungicide as suggested by this and this article may prevent re-infestation.  It is also possible to treat your grass with a fungicide if the Take-All reoccurs. 

However, there are several aspects of Habiturf which may allow you to re-establish a lawn without fungicide.  There is evidence that a stable fungal and bacterial soil community will suppress the Take-All fungus and allow the grass to fill in and be maintained fairly easily.  Because of this, it is especially important for you to use really good living compost that has a strong active fungi and bacteria community to minimize the impact of Take-All fungus in the existing soil on new grass. 

Another advantage of Habiturf against Take-All fungus is Habiturf has low water and well draining soil requirements.  Take-All root rot thrives in heavily watered soils, therefore the use of the Habiturf should help because it needs less watering than St. Augustine.  Additionally, the well drained soil needed for Habiturf will help avoid overly moist surface soil conditions that promote Take-All root rot. 

Finally, Habiturf will establish a multi-species grass community. The mix has three native species which have a better chance of establishing a stable green lawn than just St. Augustine by itself.  With the diversity of grasses in the mix there is a chance that one or more native species may be resistant or less affected by Take-All fungus.  As a result, the grass species that is most resistant will fill in any patches of soil that has high levels of Take-All root rot where the others are not able to grow.   

I noticed that you were in Houston, TX and before you install Habiturf you may want to consider reading this Mr. Smarty Plants answered by Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons about Habiturf in Houston. 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Yellow bands around edges of leaves in Whitney TX
July 20, 2009 - How can you tell whether esperanzas are getting too much water or not enough - ours have a small yellow band around the edges of the leaves - crape myrtles - same question
view the full question and answer

Dying trees in San Marcos, Texas
September 24, 2011 - I live on 11 acres in San Marcos and cannot water at all during this drought. All of my oaks and mountain laurels are turning brown. Does this mean they are all dying? Will they come back in the sp...
view the full question and answer

Ring of small holes around pecan tree branches
May 05, 2009 - I live outside Cooper, TX and I have a pecan tree about 15 years old, which I just noticed has little round holes (about the size of a pencil) going around the branches. It branches out about 3 feet ...
view the full question and answer

Powdery mildew hits Rock Rose in Round Rock Texas
May 05, 2011 - My beautiful Rock Roses have gotten spots of white fuzzy "fur" on their leaves in the past month. This is not something they have ever had before and I'm worried its some kind of disease. Is it so...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify white powdery substance on Wisteria in Georgetown, TX.
May 11, 2011 - My wisteria shrub has a white powdery substance over the wood base. I have tried spraying a fungicide on it but have seen no improvement. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center