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Rust on Turf

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Walking through your rust-infected lawn may be just the ticket if you like orange shoes. However, if orange is not your favorite color, you probably will not appreciate this fungal turf disease!

Rust is a turf-grass disease (caused by a Puccinia species) that is most noticeable in late August and September and has shown up in many lawns this past week. The rust-colored, tiny spores of the fungus rub off easily on shoes, fingers, clothes and even animals romping through the grass. Rust infections are most common on Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass lawns. Rust will cause the turf to take on a generally yellow appearance and symptoms appear to be more evident when the weather is dry. Control recommendations include using blends of resistant turf cultivars and providing adequate water and fertility levels to keep the grass growing vigorously during dry periods. Fungicide treatments are recommended only if the lawn has experienced continuous heavy infections.

Refer to http://www.agcom.purdue.edu/AgCom/Pubs/BP/BP-110-W.pdf for more information on Rust on Turf.

--Gail Ruhl, Interim P&PDL Director, Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University

Figures 1 & 2 courtesy of Purdue Turf Program

Figures 3 & 4 courtesy of Jonathan Ferris, Henry County Extension Office

Figure 1. Rust on turf

Figure 2. Rust on shoes

Figure 3. Overall view of
rust-infected turf

Figure 4. Close-up of rust pustules on leaves

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