Ascochyta leaf blight has blown up across the state – on home lawns, sports turf and even golf courses. This disease occurs most frequently and severely when we abruptly transition from a cool, wet spring to hot, dry summer conditions. Perfectly healthy green grass develops random straw-colored blotchy patches and streaks. Brown wheel tracks from the operation of mowers and other maintenance equipment often appear, leading some to believe (incorrectly) that
equipment is tracking the fungus onto the turf. The wheel-marking occurs when wilted, drought/heat-stressed grass leaves are crushed by the wheels of heavy mowers as they move across the turf. The browning in the wheel tracks is caused by a combination of direct leaf injury (crushing) and Ascochyta occurring in the stressed turf. The wheel-marking is NOT the result of the disease organism being tracked onto the lawn from somewhere else.