How to Get Rid of Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot on Bermuda Grass

Dollar spot is a common fungal lawn disease that is easy to treat as long as you take care of it in time. How to get rid of those discolored brown grass patches that start at the size of a silver dollar? We’ll show you.

How to Get Rid of Dollar Spot

Dollar spot can be treated in a variety of ways, through both cultural lawn care practices and chemical fungicide treatments.

Cultural Practices

Try these lawn care practices to stop dollar spot in its tracks – and keep it from coming back.

  • Change your watering schedule. Proper irrigation timing reduces the risk of drought stress, which allows the dollar spot disease to take hold.

    What to do: Water deeply and infrequently based on the moisture of your soil, not a calendar schedule. Stick to the early morning hours (before 6 a.m.) to avoid long periods of wetness on cool nights.
  • Reduce thatch by vertical mowing, power raking, or dethatching and aeration. Why? The dollar spot fungus Clarireeda jacksonii feeds on excess thatch in your yard.
  • Improve air movement and reduce humidity by pruning or relocating trees and bushes and clearing unwanted plant debris.
  • Fertilize your lawn with organic or nitrogen fertilizer to help it recover from dollar spot quickly. Conduct a soil test to determine what nutrients your lawn needs.

Chemical Methods

Chemical methods are another option to control dollar spot. Applying fungicides can be applied to treat dollar spot, but they are more effective at preventing this lawn disease. 

Many fungicides can treat dollar spot, but boscalid, myclobutanil, propiconazole, triadimefon, triticonazole, and vinclozolin have been found to be the most effective.

When treating an ongoing infection, fungicides should be applied at high rates and short application intervals with even coverage throughout the lawn. 

Note: Dollar spot develops resistance to fungicides quickly, so vary the fungicide you use often to reduce the risk of resistance. 

How to Repair a Lawn Damaged by Dollar Spot

With a little hands-on care, your yard can bounce back from a dollar spot infection, especially if it was healthy beforehand and you treat the lawn disease quickly. 

Maintaining a healthy lawn through practices that discourage dollar spot will allow your lawn to grow back strong and green.

If you see lasting damage from dollar spot, however, consider overseeding your turfgrass with a new layer of grass seed.

How to Prevent Dollar Spot

There are plenty of ways to prevent dollar spot from taking hold in your yard. Some routine lawn care practices – and several ounces of prevention in the form of a fungicide – can cut the risk of dollar spot infection.

  • Fungicide can prevent dollar spot ahead of its prime season in late spring and early summer. Remember, mix up which fungicide you use to keep resistance from developing.
  • Fertilize your lawn to reduce the risk of poor nutrient levels. Dollar spot spreads quickly in nutrient-poor soils, especially soils with low nitrogen, so making sure your lawn is nourished will keep the risk in check.
  • Mow regularly with a lawn mower to keep your grass healthy. Clean lawn care tools after each use.
  • Whip and drag your turf in the early morning to reduce the buildup of dew, a key component of dollar spot spread. This common practice on golf courses also can be applied at home. Just be careful not to try this to combat an active infestation, as whipping and dragging can allow the fungal disease to spread.
Bermudagrass with dollar spot
Photo credit: Scot Nelson / Flickr / Public domain

FAQ About Getting Rid of Dollar Spot

1. How do you get rid of dollar spot naturally? 

Organic fungicides and fertilizers can help you to get rid of dollar spot naturally, as well as some routine lawn care practices like removing thatch and watering properly.

2. Why does my lawn keep getting dollar spot?

Recurring cases of dollar spot may be connected to thatch buildup or nutrient-poor soil. Try dethatching to decrease buildup, and conduct a soil test.

3. What fungicide kills dollar spot?

Many fungicides can treat dollar spot, though you should vary which one you use so the lawn disease doesn’t develop resistance. Boscalid, myclobutanil, propiconazole, triadimefon, triticonazole, and vinclozolin have been shown to be particularly effective at killing dollar spot.

When to Call a Lawn Care Pro for Help

Dollar spot is a common fungal disease, and our lawn care experts can help get rid of it for you. LawnStarter pros can keep your grass green and healthy – including getting rid of any dollar spot infestations – and all of this won’t cost you a lot of dollars.

Main photo credit: Scot Nelson / Flickr / Public domain

Annie Parnell

Annie Parnell

Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, Annie Parnell is a freelance writer and audio producer based in Richmond, Virginia. She is passionate about gardening, outdoor recreation, sustainability, and all things music and pop culture.