In Atlanta, Georgia, melting out, also known as leaf spot, is a common lawn disease that affects both warm and cool season turf grasses.  This type of lawn disease commonly effects golf greens, athletic fields, and home lawns with damage usually occurring during late spring through early winter.  Melting out disease is easily identifiable by the purplish to black colored lesions with tan centers on the leaf blades and sheaths.  This causes the grass plant to shrivel and wilt.  During severe infestations or melting out almost all the grass blades and tillers die leaving thinning areas of the lawn, hence the name melting out.  This lawn disease occurs in areas that experience extended periods of foliar wetness for several days.  Melting out makes your lawn look sick but rarely does it do permanent damage.  A regularly maintained lawn through proper mowing, watering practices and fertilization practices help create a favorable environment for your turf while creating an unfavorable environment for diseases.

Management Tips:

  1. Increase mowing height
  2. Minimize shade and increase air flow
  3. Water deeply and infrequently
  4. Reduce thatch
  5. Core aerate