Dollar spot, pythium, brown patch, rust, and perhaps other diseases are ravaging perennial ryegrass lawns currently (See the attached (undoctored!) photos). Turf performance in July and August is the main reason I don’t recommend perennial ryegrass for lawns in Indiana. Perennial ryegrass requires more irrigation, more fertilizer, and more fungicide applications than my preferred grasses, turf-type tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. When establishing a new lawn using 100% Kentucky bluegrass or 100% tall fescue is the best way to go. These grasses are slightly slower to establish than perennial ryegrass, but they perform much better in the long term with less effort and expense. When establishing an athletic field, 100% Kentucky bluegrass is the best choice. Tall fescue should not be used on athletic fields. The only time that perennial ryegrass should be used on athletic fields is during overseeding when there will be play on the field within 6-8 weeks.
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