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Seedling Diseases

Seedling Diseases
Microdochium nivale. Fusarium spp. Pythium spp. Drechslera spp. Bipolaris sorokiniana (Sacc.) Rhizoctonia spp.

Turf Disease

Three types of seedling disease may occur:

  • Seed rot, where the seed fails to germinate.
  • Pre-emergence damping off where the seed germinates but fails to emerge.
  • Post-emergence damping off where the seedling emerges but fails to establish (Plate 1).



Where are Seedling Diseases found?
Any area that has been newly sown. All turfgrass species can be affected, although post-emergence damping off is most severe on BentgrassFescue and Poa pratensis L.



Effects of Seedling Diseases
A very thin sward may develop, allowing access for Poa annua grass seed germination and contamination of the final sward.



High Risk Situations

  • Dry conditions favour Fusarium spp.
  • Wet conditions favour Pythium spp.
  • Inadequate or excessive seedbed fertiliser.
  • Sowing during poor weather conditions.
  • Poorly prepared seedbed.



Integrated Turf Management Solutions

  • Good seedbed preparation.
  • An appropriate rate of seedbed fertiliser should be used.
  • An appropriate rate of high quality grass seed should be used and sown evenly to the recommended depth for the grass species or mixture being used.
  • Sow grass seed when growing conditions are favourable.
  • Accurate identification of the causal pathogen is essential prior to applying any plant protection products to ensure the chosen product has activity against the causal pathogen (refer to photos and STRI diagnostic service).



Fungicidal Control
Chemical control is difficult due to the young age of the turf, which may be further damaged by fungicide application.


Trials have shown that Heritage can control the following diseases:

Heritage: Pythium spp. Dreschlera spp.Bipolaris sorokiniana and Rhizoctonia spp.


  • Systemic mode of action
  • Optimium timing at first signs of disease
  • Dose Rate 0.5kg/ha
  • Water volume 900 l/ha