Cold wet springs mean golf course superintendents must be on the lookout for take-all patch. Take-all patch is a pathogen that attacks the roots of bentgrass plants when soil temperatures are between 40-60 degrees. This spring has had a prolonged period of soil temperatures in this range making it ideal for the pathogen’s virulence. It loves soil that is basic in nature with pH above 7. Some preventative chemical measures must be made both in the fall and spring so that this disease does not severely compromise the root system of the plants. Also using acidifying fertilizers and Manganese seem to help as well.
Last fall and this spring we have made several applications to subdue this disease however it is present on many of our putting surfaces most notably 6 and 10. The plant does not really die or get stressed from the disease more than it does from shortened root structure. It is imperative that we lightly hand water throughout the day to improve the quality of these areas. Sometimes even in times of wetter weather we must water. I understand this is not optimal for play in the middle of the afternoon however in order to keep these areas from dying it is a must. Your cooperation is much appreciated while we try to improve these areas.
Consulting with many plant pathologists there was nothing that could have been done differently and all we can do now is lightly hand water infected areas. Needle tining to enhance the root structure is also a sound practice that can be used in the diseases aftermath. In my experience once soil temperatures raise consistently above 65 degrees many areas recover quickly. I will keep you updated in the weeks to come on the progress of these areas. Thanks for your patience!