How to manage Cyanobacteria in your sports turf

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Lately, in Australia’s southern states, the wet, windless conditions have been a perfect breeding ground for Cyanobacteria, causing it to run rampant. Cyanobacteria are often mistaken for an algae or bacteria, but are actually a family of microscopic organisms that can cause issues in sports turf and other plants. Genera Oscillatoria and Phormidium are two of the many varieties that can most commonly be found invading our surfaces.

Unfortunately, Cyanobacteria can strike in most turf varieties when conditions are right. While they thrive in the colder, wetter months of the year, they do actually rely on photosynthesis to spread, meaning they require low light levels to survive. In sports turf, the organisms will sometimes produce a black mucus and climb up the blades to get closer to the light, causing a dark discoloration in the turf. At other times, the surface will just appear mottled, yellow and thin.

One of the reasons that sports turf is particularly susceptible to Cyanobacteria is because it tends to thrive when grass is cut shorter, for example on a golf green. If possible, cutting your turf slightly higher and decreasing the moisture levels and feeding it with phosphite should help decrease the chances of Cyanobacteria in the first place. However, if you don’t manage to keep it at bay, you will need a fungicide containing Chlorothalonil to control it.

A contact fungicide like Daconil Weatherstik®, is one way to fight against Cyanobacteria, as it sticks to surfaces for extended periods, even when there is heavy rain or you’ve done lots of watering.  After initial application it will still fight disease for between 14 and 21 days.

Another option for controlling Cyanobacteria is Chlortan 720, a fungicide that controls a range of fungal diseases in both sports turf and plants and can be used in both a concentrated or diluted form, depending on your needs.

As always, prevention is preferable to having to find a cure, but if you do find yourself fighting against Cyanobacteria, it’s good to know that there are chemical solutions available.

Both Daconil Weatherstik and Chlortan 720 are available in Turfmate International’s online shop. Visit us today.