Gray Leaf Spot and EarthWorks
This past year was a notoriously bad Gray Leaf Spot year in most parts of my territory on the eastern third of the country. I recently met w/ Dave Lawson at the MATE show in Fredericksburg VA. Dave is a long time steward of Biological Soil Management. As he says, “in 20 years of sales, and having a passion for the soil and true agronomy, I’ve seen every organic based product on the market and neither I nor my customers have every seen any product perform better than EW.”
Dave proceeded to tell me about his findings from this past overseed season of 2018: “Here in Virginia Beach we seed a lot of Turf Type Tall Fescue from the middle of August all the way through October. Virginia Beach is a true transition zone. It’s a difficult place to grow grass.”
Contrary to the name, most of the region has very thick clay based soil, that get influenced by salt. The environmental limitations require a keen turf manager in order to have successful growing years.
Dave continued, “this past year lawns got decimated by Gray Leaf Spot. It was just ideal disease conditions during that time of year. Particularly hit was young seedlings. Excessive rain and flooding heavily affected the new seedlings. Across all of my customers, the sites that used any of the EarthWorks analysis as a starter fertilizer weren’t touched by Gray Leaf Spot, not even a little. Plenty of customer’s lawns had neighbors full of disease, it was really remarkable. It didn’t matter the seed that was used, the real variable was the EarthWorks fertilizer, and who knows what in the EW protected the plant, who cares? Point is, it was untouched.”