- The Double Whammy Lawn Disease:
- When Can You Expect To See Spots?
- Damage Symptoms:
- Early Action Needed: Don’t Snooze, You Might Lose
- Lawn Talk: Springtime Blotchiness May Be a Symptom of Fungal Disease
- What is going on with my lawn?
- Disease Control
- Solved! What to Do About Lawn Fungus
- Grass Fungus Treatment – Learn More About Common Lawn Diseases
- Common Grass Fungus
- It May Be Lawn Fungi
- Preventing Lawn Fungus Conditions
- Treat your Lawn so you can Treat Yourself to a Fungus Free Lawn
- Heal Brown Spots On Your Grass
- Causes of Lawn Fungal Disease
- What Lawn Fungal Disease Looks Like
- How to Treat and Heal Lawn Fungus
- Turf Fungal Diseases– How to get rid of it
The Double Whammy Lawn Disease:
Leaf spot and melting-out are the common names given to a large number of lawn diseases caused by the same family of fungi. Helminthosporium (now that’s a mouthful!) contains a large number of individual disease-causing organisms. What’s similar in the grass diseases of this family is that they give your lawn a real one-two punch by creating the leaf spot phase in the spring and fall but changing gears into a sheath and root rot phase during the heat of summer.
When Can You Expect To See Spots?
The lawn disease fungi survive the winter as spores (fungus seeds) and as mycelium (fungus strands) in and on diseased turf tissue. When spring temperatures reach 55 to 60 degrees and there is a lot of moisture from rain or dew, the fungus begins to grow and spreads its spores by wind and water. As the weather warms, the disease moves into the second phase of melting out.
During the leaf spot phase of this lawn disease (spring or fall), individual grass blades will have large numbers of lesions (or infection marks) that appear a little like a cigarette burn, a dark circle with a tan spot in the center. During this part of the leaf spot lawn disease, the grass takes on a brown under cast making it appear underfed or dried out. Even though leaf spot does not do significant damage to the turf during this phase, it sets the stage for the much more serious melting-out phase.
The melting-out phase begins during hot, dry weather and causes large irregular areas to appear dried out. There may not be any distinctly visible lawn disease symptoms during the melting out phase, as the damaged areas may appear very similar to the effects of dry weather or insect injury.
Early Action Needed: Don’t Snooze, You Might Lose
As with all lawn diseases, how the turf is watered, fed and mowed makes a huge difference. It’s best to be sure the grass does not stay continuously wet or become excessively dry.
Water no more than once per week and soak the soil to a depth of 6”. Water in the morning so the grass will not remain wet for long periods. Open the area around the grass crowns (where the plant goes through the thatch and into the soil) with core aeration. Regular lawn fertilizing and aeration can go far towards disease prevention. Collecting the clippings during the spring and fall (leaf spot stage) will help reduce the spread of disease as well.
Lawn treatment services, if needed, should begin early. Spring and early summer applications of fungicide can be effective, but little can be done to reverse lawn disease once the melting-out phase begins.
- Leaf spot makes turf look sick, but does little permanent damage. However, it sets the stage for the more serious melting-out phase of the disease.
- Water in the morning so turf can dry out quickly. This helps prevent the spread of leaf spot spores.
- Melting out occurs in hot weather and can be easily confused with drought stress or insect damage.
- Frequent lawn aeration and thatch management help keep turf crowns open and reduces disease activity.
Whenever you have a question on leaf spot (or any other lawn disease) contact your neighborhood Spring-Green. We’ve got the answers!
Learn more about…
Mowing and Watering
Necrotic Ring Spot
Lawn Talk: Springtime Blotchiness May Be a Symptom of Fungal Disease
It’s spring and your lawn furniture is all in place, just screaming for a backyard barbeque. While you’re contemplating whether to serve chicken or steak, your plans come to a screeching halt when your neighbor leans over the fence and asks, “What’s up with your lawn?” as he points to the ugly patches of brown grass scattered across your playground of green carpet.
Bipolaris leaf spot is common among cool-season grasses. As the crown of the plant dies back, the problem area appears dull and weathered.
Photo/Illustration: John Fech
Unhealthy spots of grass in a lawn can be caused by several factors, like compacted soil, uneven fertilizer application, insect infestation, lawn mower injury, pet damage, and too much or too little water. But in spring, the major culprits to consider are disease-causing fungi. Many lawn diseases appear at this time of year, when the grass actively begins to grow and when fungus-spreading moisture and wind increase. Two wide-spread fungal diseases are Bipolaris leaf spot and Rhizoctonia brown patch.
Bipolaris leaf spot is the most common springtime disease that affects northern cool-season grasses. Early symptoms are small, dark-purple to brown spots with buff-colored centers surrounded by a dark-purple margin on the grass blades. As the disease progresses, infected blades turn yellow, and eventually the crown of the plant dies. The affected area takes on a dull, weathered look.
Rhizoctonia brown patch is a springtime lawn disease that affects mostly warm-season grasses. From a distance, an infected lawn will have a series of 2- to 3-foot circular, brownish-yellow patches.
Since this malady is easier to prevent than to cure, I recommend ripping out the problem areas and reseeding with improved disease-resistant cultivars. Practicing sound maintenance techniques also wards off fungal diseases. Begin by avoiding over-fertilization, reducing the thatch layer to 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick, and watering only enough to keep the roots moist. Prevent prolonged periods of moisture on the leaf blades by watering in the early morning hours, so the grass has plenty of time to dry during the day.
For lawns with a history of Bipolaris leaf spot, consider applying a liquid fungicide (with one of the active ingredients propiconazole, mancozeb, or thiophanate-methyl) according to label directions. Apply the first treatment a week or two after spring green-up and continue with two to three applications, spaced two to three weeks apart.
Rhizoctonia brown patch is a perennial springtime fungus that affects primarily southern warm-season grasses. Infected lawns show brownish-yellow patches or rings of dead and dying grass.. The patches may reach 2 to 3 feet in diameter with grass blades that can be matted down but are typically standing straight up. Green grass blades within the diseased patches are usually marked with irregularly shaped, damaged areas surrounded by a darkbrown margin.
As with Bipolaris leaf spot, the emphasis for controlling Rhizoctonia brown patch should be placed on preventive practices rather than on chemical strategies. Again, avoid over-fertilizing, which can stimulate too much lush growth, and when watering, do not allow the grass blades to be wet for more than six hours. On highly susceptible turfs, like St. Augustinegrass, begin liquid fungicide treatments (with a product containing triadimefon, propiconazole, thiram, thiophanate-methyl, or mancozeb as an active ingredient) at the first sign of the symptoms. As with any fungicide product, be sure to read and follow all label directions and warnings.
If you are unsure if your lawn has a disease, take a grass sample to your local extension agent or garden center for help in correctly diagnosing the problem. Lawn disease prevention and control will help you to enjoy a healthy lawn all season long. You’ll be back in business, throwing those backyard barbeques before you know it.
What is going on with my lawn?
If you’ve had unusual brown patches or blemishes appearing on your lawn this summer… don’t automatically take it out on the neighbour’s dog. Lawns can catch diseases that cause these unsightly blemishes.
For lawn diseases to occur they require a few conditions to be present all at the same time. When a pathogen (disease spores), comes in contact with a susceptible host (your lawn), and the grass is wet or damp for long periods of time… Ba-da-bing Ba-da-boom… brown patches of grass!
The diseases are identified by the different ways they distort the grass blades, the size and colour of the patches and the time of year.
Although fungus control sprays are available, they are usually quite expensive and work better to prevent the disease, rather than eliminate the fungus once it’s started. In most cases proper mowing and fertilizing keeps a lawn healthy enough to withstand most disease problems. The biggest factor to avoid is watering in the evening. Grass blades that remain damp during warm summer nights provide the moisture for the disease to thrive.
Some of the more common diseases we see are:
These patches are initially pinkish and eventually dry out to a tan colour. Upon closer observation, a distinctive red to coral coloured “thread” is often seen growing from tips of the grass blades.
Early development of Red Thread
Close-up of the red threads
These spots are usually straw-coloured and 6-12 inches round. A whitish hourglass shape on the grass blades distinguishes the leaf blades.
This disease is evident as a whitish film on the grass blades. It’s most common on Kentucky bluegrass grown in shady damp areas, such as between houses.
This fungus affects all types of grass and is normally found to some degree in all home lawns. Symptoms are yellow to brown spots and blotches on the grass blades. In severe cases the disease can advance to a condition known as “melting out” where the fungus becomes very prevalent throughout the lawn. At this stage the lawn has large yellow and brown patches and blades seem to be rotting at the base.
Solved! What to Do About Lawn Fungus
Q: My lawn was so lush and green last year but this year it’s full of unsightly brown patches that won’t green up no matter how much I water my yard. How can I get rid of the patches and get my beautiful lawn back?
A: It sounds as if you might have a case of the lawn fungus known as “brown patch” on your hands. It’s just one of a number of fungal diseases that can wreak havoc on turf grass. Other types may appear as rings of mushrooms, streaks in the lawn, slimy areas, spots on individual leaf blades, discoloration, or powdery blotches. Keep in mind that your lawn is a living entity, and it naturally contains millions of fungi spores, most of which will never cause problems. Under adverse circumstances, however, such as long rainy seasons, droughts, overwatering, and substandard lawn care, fungi can spread out of control, leaving you with a blighted lawn. The good news is that you can treat many cases of lawn fungus—and prevent future cases—just by following good lawn care practices. And, for particularly stubborn cases, you may find a solution via the application of a topical fungicide.
Water your lawn early in the day. Healthy lawns need approximately an inch of water weekly, but the sooner the grass dries up after watering, the less chance it has of developing lawn fungus. By watering early in the morning, your lawn has the entire day to dry.
Sharpen your mower blades. Dull mower blades tear off the tops of the grass leaves instead of cutting them. Ragged, frayed blades of grass are more susceptible to developing fungal disease than those with sharp, clean cuts. Mower blades should be sharpened in the spring before the mowing season starts. If you have a large lawn, you may want to sharpen your mower blades a second time during the summer.
Remove no more than one-third of the grass height when mowing. Cutting away more of the grass stresses and weakens it, increasing the risk of a fungal disease. Fescue, the most common turf grass, should be mowed approximately 3.5 inches high. Bermuda grass does well if mowed at 2 inches high, and zoysia grass at 2.5 to 3 inches high. Removing no more than one-third of the grass may mean mowing more frequently during times of quick growth, but it will help keep your lawn healthy, and a healthy lawn is a strong deterrent to lawn fungus.
Don’t over- or under-fertilize. If your grass doesn’t have the nutrients it needs, it won’t develop a strong root and leaf system, but if you apply too much fertilizer, you will encourage rapid blade growth that the roots cannot support. Both are mistakes that stress the grass and increase the risk of disease. Choose a fertilizer for your specific type of turf grass (fescue, Bermuda, etc.) and use a fertilizing applicator that you can regulate to dispense the exact amount of product recommended by the fertilizer manufacturer.
Dethatch to remove dead grass. Over time, dead grass can build up at the soil level, choking out healthy grass blades and increasing the risk of lawn fungus. Dethatching is the process of removing the dead grass, which can be done manually by raking it away with a special dethatching rake. It’s a time-consuming process, however, and if your yard is large, you may want to rent a power dethatching rake from a lawn-and-garden center. Dethatching attachments are also available for some types of riding mowers.
Aerate your yard to loosen compacted soil. Compacted soil can result from heavy clay content or from driving over your yard, which can compress the soil. The condensed soil restricts healthy grass development and reduces drainage, both of which can lead to the growth of lawn fungus. The simplest option is to hire a landscape company to aerate your yard, but if you’re DIY-inclined, you can rent a powered aerator from a landscape center and get to work. Aerating removes small plugs of soil, loosening the ground, and increasing circulation around grass roots. Lawns with soil heavy in clay will benefit from annual aeration, while other lawns should be aerated once every two to four years to maintain optimum health.
Check and amend your soil. Most types of turf grass grow the best in well-drained soil with a pH level between 6 and 7. To ensure that your grass has the correct nutrients and pH level, take a soil sample to your local Extension Office. The Cooperative Extension Service (CES) is a branch of the USDA that works in conjunction with state universities to research and advise citizens on the best agricultural practices in their regions. On the CES website, you can locate the Extension Office in your county. They will test your soil sample and give you explicit details about what type of soil amendments are necessary in order to make your lawn healthier. This service usually runs less than $20.
Apply a fungicide. If the preceding steps do not eradicate your lawn fungus problem, you may need to apply a topical fungicide. A broad-spectrum fungicide product will treat many types of fungus, but for the best results, take a sample of the diseased turf grass to an Extension Office, mentioned above, and request that the sample be tested to pinpoint the exact fungus that is causing the problem. You’ll receive detailed information that identifies the fungus and recommends the best type of fungicide for treating it.
Grass Fungus Treatment – Learn More About Common Lawn Diseases
There is nothing more frustrating than watching a well manicured lawn fall victim to some kind of grass fungus. A lawn disease caused by a fungus of some kind can create unsightly brown patches and can kill large patches of a lawn. You can eliminate lawn fungus once you know what kind of fungus you have. Below is a description and treatment of the three most common lawn fungus problems.
Common Grass Fungus
This grass fungus is caused by Bipolaris sorokiniana. It is identified by the purple and brown spots that appear on the grass blades. If left untreated, it can travel down the blade of grass and cause the roots to rot. This will result in a thin looking lawn.
Leaf Spot grass fungus treatment consists of proper care of the lawn. Mow at the right height and make sure the lawn does not stay wet all the time. Water the lawn only once a week, if it has not rained in your area. Water only in the morning, so that the grass can dry out quickly. Keeping the moisture level down will allow the grass to fight the fungus and eliminate it on its own. If the grass is badly affected, you can use fungicide.
This grass fungus is caused by Drechslera poae. It is frequently associated with Leaf Spot because a lawn affected by leaf spot will be highly susceptible to Melting Out. This lawn disease starts out as brown spots on the grass blades that move rapidly down to the crown. Once they reach the crown, the grass will begin to die in small brown patches that will continue to grow in size as the fungus progresses. This disease commonly appears in lawns with major thatch presence.
Melting Out grass fungus treatment is to dethatch the lawn and apply a grass fungus spray to the lawn as soon as the disease is spotted, the earlier, the better. Proper lawn care will help prevent this lawn disease from appearing in the first place.
Necrotic Ring Spot
This grass fungus is caused by Leptosphaeria korrae. This fungus is most likely to appear in the spring or fall. The lawn will start to get reddish-brown rings and you will be able to see black “threads” on the crown of the grass.
Necrotic Ring Spot grass fungus treatment is to dethatch the lawn vigorously. As with Melting Out, the thatch is how the fungus spreads. You can try adding a fungicide as well, but it will not help without dethatching regularly. Also, lower the amount of nitrogen fertilizer that you give the lawn. Even with dethatching and proper care, it may take up to two years for this lawn disease to come under control.
Summary: Lawn fungus identification and treatment causes many homeowners to look for lawn fungus controls and cures for possible lawn diseases using chemicals which may not help because of an incorrect grass fungus diagnosis.
Question: We think our yard has a lawn fungus and not sure exactly what we should do.
Can you tell us the best lawn fungus treatment home remedies and broad-spectrum chemical fungicide we can use to help with lawn fungus control?
Someone recommended neem oil sprays as a fungus cure, but know nothing of it. Please help! Angie, Shelby, NC
How to treat lawn fungus:
Answer: Angie, lawn fungus identification, and treatment can be a confusing and often the homeowner gets carried away looking for grass fungus treatment and cure for what they “think” is a lawn fungus. It may not be a fungus but caused by lawn grubs or chinch bugs.
They assume many times applying a nitrogen fertilizer will solve a lawn problem. They also believe a broad-spectrum fungicide will control any and all lawn disease and fungus.
I remember years ago reading a quote by plant disease expert Dr. Cynthia Westcott. She said,
“In my experience, gardeners and insects, to say nothing of dogs, are more harmful than fungi to the average lawn.”
Not to say lawns never get a fungus, but the possibility of a yard fungus disease “wiping out” your beautiful lawn is slim.
By planting a mixture of grasses, the possibility is practically remote. Most turf grass diseases attack a distinct grass species as their victim.
This makes it difficult for a host of fungal diseases to all hit a lawn at once and spread rapidly like wildfire through a yard made up of many different grass types.
The only individuals who should be concerned about a turf or grass disease are the professionals – the golf course ground and greens-keepers.
The reason is that most putting greens are planted with one type of grass, while the average home is made up of several grass types in their yard, reducing the potential of lawn fungus diseases for the homeowner.
Please do not assume I am telling you that your lawn is not under a fungus attack. There are times when the weather conditions are just right, and a fungus disease does take hold causing severe damage.
Before assuming a fungus disease exist you should first learn something about lawn fungus and lawn diseases:
- How to identify their symptoms
- How to control or eradicate them
Above all else learn how to prevent them from becoming established in the first place.
It May Be Lawn Fungi
However, the cause of most common lawn diseases begins with a fungus (singular for fungi). In fact, fungi are tiny plants which cannot produce their food supply and depend on a host for their food.
When a fungal disease finds its home in a lawn, the “fungi” stick their microscopic feeder tubes into the leaf blades of grass.
If the conditions and food supply are right, more fungi are produced at an explosive rate, and in no time at all they will suck the life out of the grass, killing it.
A fungus which attacks St Augustine grass specifically goes by a weird name called “Take-All Root Rot.”
- St. Augustine Grass Lawn Maintenance Schedule
- Take-All St Augustine Root Rot Fungus
However, the most common lawn fungus is a disease commonly called “brown patch.” There are two main types of “brown patch” fungus that attack lawns – large brown patch and dollar spot. Other fungal diseases come with names like gray snow mold, pink snow mold, fairy ring, take-all patch, summer patch and others.
You will most likely find either one or both of these grass fungus types strike during the spring and summer during exceptionally rainy periods. Depending on the severity of the fungus attack, there may be only a few brown patches or a necrotic ring spot in the lawn.
However, if it progresses and you detect more brown patches, protecting the grass is the best defense. The best protection is accomplished by spraying the entire lawn with a commercial or homemade lawn fungicide.
Ask your local garden center for the best solution (usually chemical) for the grass types in your area to remedy the problem.
Follow the label on the container. Fungicides are poisonous, and all of them, if used in excessive amounts or dosages, will harm the grass as well as kill the fungi.
For this reason, alone, it is imperative to follow labeled instructions exactly as stated on the container when using any fungicide.
Normal growth of the grass should resume after treating with a fungicide, and the fungus parasites are eliminated. We will look at Neem oil for plant fungus at another time.
Preventing Lawn Fungus Conditions
The best way to prevent lawn fungus is to eliminate or minimize the turf disease conditions that make them happy to actively thrive and multiply. The conditions fungus finds favorable are the opposite for ideal grass growth.
Fungus thrives with moisture. Moisture makes fungus fruit body grow and multiply at rapid rates. When grass is more or less consistently dry, a fungus has a much more difficult time establishing itself.
Now, you cannot control when and how much it will rain, but you can control when your sprinkler system comes on.
When you need to water, you can reduce fungus conditions in your lawn by running your sprinklers during the morning or early afternoon.
This watering practice will allow the grass the opportunity to dry off before nighttime – which is when fungus multiplies fastest. Lots of homeowners water after the sun has gone down using the argument of “less water evaporation” as the reasoning. Watering this way may be true for saving water, but it creates more favorable conditions for fungus growth.
Mowing the grass at a higher mower setting helps as well. When grass is mowed very low and “scalped” the new growth is very tender. The tender, juicy new growth is a perfect setting and host for fungi, compared to the older, tougher and seasoned grass blades.
When you follow the guidelines of proper, routine lawn care, you and your lawn should have little fear of a fungus in grass or other turf grass diseases. A lawn full of thick, beautiful, healthy grass makes for a healthy lawn able to resist lawn fungus and other diseases very well.
Image: Kris Lord
Despite all the recent rain, many lawns are covered in random brown patches. The reason? Too much rain. Extremely wet grass promotes fungus growth and can actually harm your lawn.
Here are 8 ways to treat brown patch and lawn fungus:
1. Only water your lawn as much as necessary. Avoid watering at night, as this is when fungus tends to grow.
2. Avoid walking over brown patches and affected areas. Fungal diseases can easily spread.
3. Fertilize your lawn. Grass that does not receive enough nitrogen and potassium can become weak, leaving the grass vulnerable to fungal diseases.
4. Mow your lawn at a healthy height. Never cut your lawn on the lowest setting.
5. Be patient. Give the fertilizer time to work.
6. Keep leaves off your lawn. Leaves can promote fungus growth.
7. Keep an eye on shady areas. When especially wet, these areas are first to show signs of brown patch or fungus.
8. Apply a fungicide. If you simply can’t battle the brown spots with any of the 7 steps listed above, go to your local home improvement store and purchase a fungicide. While costly, this will help battle the lawn fungus.natural treatments can be used instead, especially while the fungus is still small. Neem oil, compost tea, and baking soda solutions are some of the most common.
Treat your Lawn so you can Treat Yourself to a Fungus Free Lawn
What is lawn fungus…
Fungi are plants that lack chlorophyll and therefore are unable to produce their own food. To feed and survive, the fungi needs to obtain food from either dead organic matter (dead leaves and excessive thatch) or find and take over a host plant. Fungi spread through spores, which are easily transferred through wind, rain, mowing and simply walking through a fungi outbreak. Once transferred, the spore penetrates into the host plant, feeding and growing until it has taken over the host. During peak fungus season a fungus can produce and discharge up to 100,000 spores an hour.
What to look for in your lawn…
For Fungus to spread and be present there needs to be three main factors,
a) Host, living or dead organic matter (thatch and leaves) b) the Right Environment, such as a shaded, moist environment and c) the Pathogen. These three factors are also known as the disease triangle. All three must be present for the fungus to grow and spread.
If fungus is present in your lawn, it will present itself in circular, irregular patterns of damage. It will have a clear dead zone where the fungus has fed and a lighter yellow/brown ring around the outskirts where the fungus is spreading.
Be proactive; be on the lookout for damp shaded areas that hold more moisture than other parts of your lawn. These areas may or may not have excessive thatch or other dead organic material. If you have areas that match this description, it is time to treat your lawn. As these pose the greatest threat of an outbreak.
A good rule of thumb is that by the time your azaleas are showing color, you should be able to see very clearly if your lawn has a fungus.
How to treat and prevent fungus outbreaks…
The best way to treat Fungus is to be proactive and treat at the first sign of damp lawn areas and not after the fungus has taken hold. This can be done with a simple application of a systemic fungicide. A few recommended options are listed below, one liquid hose end, one granular, and one tank mix. With fungicide, you get what you pay for, but some action is always better than none!
Suggested Fungicide Products:
Heal Brown Spots On Your Grass
When you start seeing brown spots all over your lawn, you know there is a problem. But what actually is the problem and what can you do about it?
Obviously, your grass can develop a brownish color when it is scorched by the sun. If your lawn has isolated brown spots, though, or if it is slimy, your grass may be plagued with fungal disease.
So how do you treat brown patches and control the fungal disease on your lawn?
Causes of Lawn Fungal Disease
Fungi and spores can actually be natural and healthy to some grasses. In most cases, a fungus is harmless. Sometimes, though, as brown and yellow spots become visible, it will become evident that your lawn has contracted fungal disease, putting a blight on your yard. The causes of lawn fungal disease include:
- Lack of water
- Mowing with too low of a setting
- Too much fertilizer
- Erratic variances in temperature and humidity
What Lawn Fungal Disease Looks Like
Lawn fungal disease typically appears in brown (or sometimes yellow) patches. It consists of rings that grow over time. Fungal disease can also manifest itself in darkened, wet, or slimy-looking areas. These areas will be spotty and the grass in those areas will experience stunted growth.
It’s important to remember that lawn damage isn’t always lawn fungus. So you may want to reach out to an expert to determine whether or not the symptoms match the diagnosis. If your grass exhibits the symptoms described above, though, there is a good chance your lawn has a fungus.
How to Treat and Heal Lawn Fungus
First of all, avoid walking over fungal area so you don’t spread disease across the lawn; you will want to keep the fungus contained to a small area. Some of the prevention and treatment steps below may be obvious, or seem fundamental, but they will help foster a healing environment for your lawn.
1. Fertilize Your Lawn Appropriately
Using too much fertilizer can make your grass prone to fungi. Too little fertilizer can do the same. If you are concerned about fungus on your lawn it may be a good idea to try an organic, slow-release fertilizer. Excess nitrogen in synthetic fertilizer quickly makes a lawn green, but can also disturb the natural ecosystem of the lawn. If you want your grass to be less prone to disease, organic fertilizer may be the right solution.
2. Only Use as Much Water as Necessary
Try watering less frequently for a longer period of time. It’s also best to water your grass in the morning so the water has a full day to absorb into the soil or evaporate.
3. Dethatch Your Lawn
After you remove a layer of thatch from your lawn, your soil will have the opportunity to breathe and won’t be as vulnerable to fungal outbreak.
4. Aerate Your Soil
Aerating loosens your soil to help create a good growing environment.
5. Mow Your Lawn at a Higher Setting
Mowing too low can encourage fungal disease. Leave your grass at a height of 3 to 4 inches.
6. Evaluate Your Grass Type
Ensure that your grass type matches the climate you live in. If it doesn’t, you may want to consider re-seeding.
7. Apply a Fungicide to Your Lawn
As a last resort, you may want to try a fungicide on your lawn. A fungicide can eradicate your fungus problem as you work on improving your lawn care regimen to prevent fungi from coming back.
Keep in mind that time may be the best healer. If you maintain your lawn properly, making sure to practice the basics of lawn care, your grass should return to a healthy state.
- Do not over-fertilize, and avoid feeding your lawn during hot and humid weather.
- Use proper watering practices. If you water, do it early in the day so the grass can dry out fully before nightfall. If dew is collecting on your lawn each morning, your lawn probably does not need to be irrigated at all. Standing dew can be removed by dragging a water hose over the lawn, which will lower the humidity that causes brown patch disease.
- Improve air circulation. The best way to do this is to aerate and dethatch the lawn annually. Improved air circulation will reduce the humidity that causes brown patch.
- Reseed with resistant grass cultivars. A variety of grasses are available with moderate resistance to the Rhizoctonia fungus. If a brown patch is an annual occurrence, consider top-seeding your lawn with resistant grasses.
- Apply fungicide where appropriate. Lawn care experts say that fungicide treatment is appropriate only for high-value ryegrass and bentgrass turf blends; most lawns typically recover without chemical treatments. The first spray of fungicide should be applied immediately after the symptoms first appear, especially if hot and humid weather is expected. Although fungicides can be purchased by homeowners, it’s best to deal with a lawn care company staffed by professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat lawn diseases.
Turf Fungal Diseases– How to get rid of it
You have been working hard all year, making sure your lawn is summer-perfect, but there is something not quite right. Your lush grass is growing through patchy, or maybe the blades are looking a little limp.
These are all signs that your lawn may be fighting a fungal infestation, causing disease. However, hope is at hand. Keep on reading to educate yourself on everything there is to know about lawn fungal diseases.
What Are Common Types of Lawn Fungus?
When it comes to fungal infestations, there is no one single answer. There is a range of fungi that can be found on your lawn that cause disease. Some need to be treated different than others so knowing how to identify them is crucial.
The more common diseases are:
- Pink Snow Mold
- Red Thread
- Dollar Spot
- Brown Patch
- Summer Patch
- Leaf Spot
Each of these fungi has their own preferences when it comes to the condition in which they thrive.
What Does a Fungal Infestation Mean for Your Lawn?
Having a fungus problem with your lawn does not necessarily mean the end of your grass. It is merely a warning sign that you need to make some changes to your routine.
There are several common causes of fungi and your best bet is to call your local lawn experts to help you determine the problem and come up with a solution.
What Are Some Common Causes of Turf Diseases?
- Humidity and high temperatures
- Improper nutrient balance
- It could even be as simple as cutting your turf too short.
These stresses on your lawn make the grass more susceptible to infection. Take heart, however, because lawn fungi do not have to be a death sentence for your grass. There are steps you can take to treat and prevent fungal growth. The key is to know what you are looking at and take early action.
How Can Tell If My Lawn Has a Fungal Problem?
While each disease has its own identifying features, the more common ways to identify if you have a turf disease is to notice discoloration, brown spots, dead turf, circular patches, and leaf spots.
As with all fungi, they thrive in warm, humid and moisture rich environments. One good way to predict the arrival of a lawn disease is to check for excessive moisture in your lawn.
Identifying a fungal or disease problem is just the beginning. Knowing how to treat it is the other crucial step in creating that perfect lawn.
Best Lawn Treatments for the Fungi Fight
Once a fungus strikes, the best way to combat it is with a good fungicide. The real trick is to ensure you follow the dosing on the package because too much can do just as much harm as good to your lawn.
The real trick to fighting fungus is in the preventative steps you can take to stop it from growing or returning.
Different grass species are more susceptible to diseases than others. Fine bladed grasses such as fine fescues, poa annua, ryegrass, and roughstalk bluegrass do not tolerate summer stress very well and are most susceptible to disease. The most hardy grass for a lawn situations are turf type tall fescue because of its strong root system and its ability to tolerate heat,drought, and disease better than other grass species.
Knowing your watering schedule, and making sure you don’t water at the wrong time of day, is crucial, as fungus loves watery conditions. We recommend to water in the morning three times per week with at least a total of 1.5 inches of water a week.
Knowing when to mow your lawn and the right height to mow it is also important, and can vary depending on the goal you have.
Care and Attention are the Keys to a Healthy Luscious Lawn
While it may sound overly simplistic, there really are only a few things you need in order to have the lawn of your dreams. Understanding your weather and the best turf for it is one, and from there on out, is it care and attention.
If you need any help with your lawn maintenance or battling that lawn fungus and disease, then we can help you out. Lawn Pride has every service your lawn will need to be healthy and beautiful all season long. Get in touch with us today and we can put you on the pathway to that perfect lawn.