Disease in turf grasses come in two separate forms; biotic and abiotic. Biotic diseases include living, non-infections diseases such as algae, moss, insects and nematodes as well as those that are living and infections diseases such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and other nematodes. Abiotic diseases fall into three categories; chemical, physical, and mechanical. When diagnosing diseases we follow five steps:
- Identify the host
- Observe the symptoms
- Observe environment
- Look for signs and symptoms of the casual organism
- Collect and submit sample
Once the disease is identified the appropriate measures can be taken based upon the individual disease. Three diseases are being studied in a lab environment; pythium, red thread, and brown patch. Three growth chambers have been programmed for the correct environment of each disease. Plants are placed inside and then inoculated to find survivors.