Dollar Spot Disease Forms Straw Colored Dead Spots in St Augustine Lawns


By Rick Orr 04/18/2020

Dollar spot disease in a St Augustine lawn with close up of dollar spot
Dollar spot on a St Augustine lawn with closeup of individual dollar spot damage

The Name is Deceiving

The name originates from the distinctive 2" round circles - the size of a silver dollar - found on golf greens. In St Augustine Grass the dollar spot forms spots of straw-colored leaves - circular in form but because of the tall canopy are 4 – 6” in diameter.

Dollar Spot is a Signal Disease

Dollar spot is signaling the lawn has low fertility. Dollar spot is most common in the spring when the turf is actively growing in warm air temperatures, but the soil temperatures are cooler preventing the uptake of nutrients.

​ Dollar Spot Cure

The cure for Dollar Spot is fertilizer - mainly Potassium and micronutrients. For my customers, dollar spot will occur the week before my regular visits and fade shortly after an application. This by design – Dollar spot is a signal that it is time to fertilize the lawn. Rarely will there be a need for fungicide treatments.

For the DIY, dollar spot is an indicator of low fertility. Allowing the condition to go uncorrected will result in the decline of your St Augustine lawn from low fertility and the impact of the disease. The best plan is to wait a week to ten days after observing the dollar spot and apply a good fertilizer with micronutrients.

Rick Orr Owner-Operator APL Pest Control/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
APL Pest Control

Rick Orr is the creator of, Owner/Operator of APL Pest Control and a graduate from VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology).  

Since 1980, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts and large communities. Rick worked as a Golf Course Superintendent of Fripp Island Resort, agronomist for Seaside, FL and the spray tech for Vinoy Golf Course. Rick has been certified as an arborist, landscape and irrigation contractor and adjunct professor for Environmental Horticulture (SPC) in Pinellas County.  

Home Pest Control came naturally. Entomology (bug science) was part of agronomy studies. Nearly every indoor pest problem starts outdoors. Crossing over to home pest control from lawn spraying was a natural process – the technology, methods and materials used for home pest control are modifications of the ones used for lawn spraying. 

The results of that work is a one of the top rated pest control companies in Pinellas County – APL Pest Control. APL Pest Control is a family owned business serving residential and commercial properties in Pinellas County, FL. 

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Speaking Engagements - Does it seem like you are only hearing one side of water restrictions, fertilizer bans, plant restrictions, and many other urban landscape hot topics? Rick Orr is available for speaking engagements for your HOA, Community or Professional Association or Garden Club about a variety of subjects. To contact Rick you can find him on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram for booking information.