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MSU Turf Diseases.net — your turf disease identification & research resource

Non-disease Problems

While fungi and bacteria can cause severe problems to a stand of turfgrass, often the problem can be caused by factors other than pathogens. Irrigation issues, heat stress, chemical burn, mis-application of fertilizers or pesticides, mechanical damage, insects and a number of other issues can wreak havoc on home lawns and golf courses and cause headaches for turf managers and diagnosticians.

One thing to remember when trying to diagnose a turfgrass problem is that diseases don't occur in definite patterns. Turfgrass that is dead in straight lines, clearly defined areas, and large uniform areas are more than likely not due to a pathological disease. Below are some examples of non-disease issues and typical characteristics of each.

Localized Dry Spot

Localized Dry Spot

Localized Dry Spot

Localized Dry Spot

Misapplication

Misapplication of
fertilizers or chemicals

Misapplication

Misapplication of
fertilizers or chemicals

Scalping

Scalping

Wilt

Wilt / Drought


Additional Non-disease Problems