How To Manage Fungal Growth
Its a real pain when you invest time and money into your landscape and maintaining it only to find that your lawn is growing fungus. There are many types of fungus which can overrun your grass, such as mushrooms, patches that are powdery, and slimy areas.
While were not capable of controlling the weather to stop the growth of fungi on your grass, we can provide you with some practical ways to prevent the growth of fungi and keep your lawn healthy.
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The Most Common Way It Can Spread Is Through Your Very Own Footsteps And Lawn Maintenance Habits
Your footsteps and lawnmowers can easily be vehicles in which the lawn fungus can spread across your yard. So you see, it is not such a bad idea to avoid stepping on your lawn even in winter. When you mow, be sure to remove all grass clippings afterwards.
Choosing the right fungicide is also a must. It an be tough, so if you dont have a selected brand in your shelf, it is best to approach a lawn care expert to weigh the pros and cons for you. After all, you need to have the right fungicide or treatment that addresses the specific lawn fungus problems you have in your yard.
Types Of Lawn Diseases And Fungi And How They Spread
As if it wasnât nuisance enough, there are various lawn fungus types to look out for. Many of the symptoms are similar, and weâll discuss how to tell if your lawn has fungus in the next section, but itâs important to be aware that there is more than one kind of lawn fungus or lawn disease.
One grass fungal disease will specifically target grass and leaves, while others infect the soil and prevent grass from growing. Others present themselves as dots throughout the lawn, and perhaps one of the most identifiable fungi appears as a fairy ring in turfgrass.
Fungi are spread primarily by wind and rain, but can even be spread with a lawnmower. If youâre unaware of a fungus problem on your lawn and use a lawnmower on infected parts of the grass, fungal spores can easily be spread to other parts of the land, speeding up the spread of the problem.
Youâll typically notice fungi growing in the dampest environments, so that may be under trees or in lower parts of the ground where water gathers.
The trouble with fungus is that it only presents itself once the disease has taken hold, and tackling those patches requires a good understanding of how the infection works. There are steps you can take to prevent lawn fungus problems, but it always starts with identifying symptoms.
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Its A Simple Solution
Lawn fungal diseases have many faces. From brown patches to highly visible spots, threads, rings, or slime. How to treat lawn fungus naturally? Grass fungal diseases can be difficult to treat when your yard becomes affected.
The good news is the right lawn care practices can help towards prevention and treatment of lawn fungus. Although extreme cases fungal growth and infestation might require a fungicide to help control fungal growth
Causes of Lawn Fungal Disease
Your lawn is naturally full of fungi and spores, some harmless and some problematic, but the right conditions can cause grass fungus to erupt into a harmful disease. The most common causes of a lawn fungal disease are:
- Wrong grass type for your yard Using a warm season grass in a northern area.
- Weather conditions
Identify Lawn Fungal Diseases
Some signs that your lawn may have a fungal disease include are very noticeable and can easily be seen:
- White, yellow, or brown patches or rings that grow in diameter.
- Thin patches of frayed, distorted, or discolored grass blades.
- Gray, black, red, orange, or purple spots on blades or stems.
- Gray, black, or pink powdery or threadlike coatings on and around grass blades.
- Areas of darkened, wet-looking, slimy, or greasy-looking grass.
Prevention and Treating Lawn Fungal Diseases
Steps to take control of fungal diseases in your lawn:
Organic and Chemical Treatments
Brown PatchLeaf SpotSlime Mold
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Controlling Lawn Fungus In Your Yard
by rob | Jan 23, 2015 | Fall Lawn Care, Lawn Maintenance Tips |
In the Pacific Northwest, lawn fungus affects all types of grass and occurs in a variety of weather conditions. From cool, wet weather of fall and winter to warm periods of the summer, this fungus can turn your beautiful yard into a brown patch of dead grass, and it can be a nightmare to eliminate.
So how can you ensure a healthy, green yard this year? While no grass is completely disease-proof, you can control the spread of fungal disease in your yard through proper identification and lawn care treatment. Lets take a look at what causes lawn fungus, how to identify it, and what you can do to eliminate it.
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How To Prevent And Treat Lawn Fungal Diseases
A simple change in your lawn care practices may be enough to prevent or eradicate lawn fungal disease. At other times nature may deliver a soggy spring or summer heat wave that just cant be helped. Stressed or unhealthy lawns are much more likely to develop disease so the better you care for your lawn, the better the grass will be able to handle the natural conditions in your area.
Follow these steps to help take control of fungal diseases in your lawn:
Helping Prevent Resistance To Fungicides
When using fungicides for recurring lawn disease problems, you need to alternate fungicides. Lawn diseases can become resistant to fungicides with repeated use. It is not as simple as picking two different products or two different brands you will want to select at least two fungicides with different modes of action or active ingredients.
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Dethatch The Lawn When Theres Need
The presence of excessive thatch, a layer of organic matter, in grass signifies soil pH imbalance or lawn care malpractices. Naturally, thatch should be only ½ an inch. Too much of it robs the grass of nutrients, sunlight, and water. Upon close examination, youll notice they sit between the soil top layer and crown of the grass. As long as microbes arent enough to eliminate organic matter, the fungus will attack the lawn.
The thatches attract weeds, particularly in spring, which is why you should plan your dethatching activity in fall. It works best using a thatching machine or gardening rake to keep them to a minimum. Alternatively, you can apply organic matter to keep them at bay.
Dish Soap Or Fungicide
Pull Them Out
If you leave them there for too long, the mushrooms will release spores, which will cause even more of them to grow. Instead, pull them out of the ground once they appear. You can also mow or rake them, but chances are that the spores will spread all over the lawn.
But first, poke holes around each mushroom, at least one foot deep, with Shepherds hook, screwdriver, or trowel. Once you pull the mushrooms out, make sure to put them into a bag instead of a compost pile, and dispose of them.
Fill the Holes With Either:
- Dish Soap and Water Solution
Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and about 2 gallons of water in a bucket, then pour the solution over the area where you poked the holes. This process, however, can take quite a while.
For a faster resolution, you can go with fungicide. First you would need to use a granular fungicide like the Heritige 30lbs bag or alternatively you can get the smaller 10lbs bag. To keep the spores from spreading, you need to spray the entire lawn with a liquid fungicide. In our experience, the best product for this is the BioAdvanced liquid fungicide spray.
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What Causes Lawn Fungus
Excessive heat and humidity are the leading causes of fungus. As mentioned above, fungus often occurs in times of stress, such as drought, long rainy seasons, and overwatering.
Fungus often develops because water stays on the leaf surface far too long. Mycelia use the water as a highway to travel from leaf-to-leaf. This allows the fungus to spread to other parts of the lawn.
This is also the reason that you should not walk through your lawn when it is battling fungus. If there is moisture on the lawn you can spread the fungus across the grass.
Another cause of fungus is undernourishment. When grass does not have the right amount of nutrients it is more susceptible to disease.
After it rains, theres typically more water available in the soil for the grass plants. When plants take up that water, they are also taking up nutrients thats in the soil. The more it rains, the faster that nitrogen is used up. If the nitrogen is not replenished, the problem will continue.
Getting Rid Of Lawn Rust Naturally
Lawn rust forms almost exclusively when the grass is in a period of slow growth, so anything that interferes with your lawns normal, healthy growth puts it at risk for this fungus. While theres not much you can do about the weather, there are plenty of other ways to optimize your lawns growing conditions.
Nourish your lawn Throughout the growing season, feed your lawn small amounts of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer every six weeks. Just 0.2 to 0.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is generally enough. Pay special attention to fungus-prone areas, such as shady spots.
Steer clear of high nitrogen fertilizers in the fall. Too much growth toward the end of the season leaves grass vulnerable to other problems, such as Fusarium patch and red thread disease.
Water in the morning Good watering practices protect your lawn from the damaging effects of heat stress without leaving it damp and prone to fungal infections. Watering your lawn in the cooler hours of the early morning gives the grass a chance to dry out during the day. Avoid watering in the evening because it creates the ideal wet, cool conditions for lawn rust fungus to grow and release spores.
Give your grass around 1 to 1 1/2 inch of water per week or enough to keep the soil soaked 6 inches deep. Water two or three times a week, rather than daily, so the lawns surface can dry between watering.
Rinse your lawn equipment after using it on areas of lawn rust.
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How To Treat Lawn Fungus
Choose the Correct Product
Some lawn fungicides are broad spectrum, meaning they can control the spread of many diseases while others are narrow spectrum, meaning they only affect a few disease.
Choosing the right product is where disease identification is important. Using the wrong product for a disease that was misidentified may have no effect on the disease at all.
Carefully read the product label to make sure you are choosing the right fungicide for your needs.
Lawn Fungus can be tricky to cure and may need more than one application of fungicide. Most fungicides can be reapplied every 14 28 days, but be sure to read the product label.
If you apply the same fungicide many times, your lawn can build up a resistance to the active ingredients. Due to this resistance, fungus may appear in your lawn even if you put down a preventative treatment.
How Do I Get Rid Of Red Grass
To get rid of red grass, fertilize your lawn with high nitrogen fertilizer because red thread occurs on a low nutrient lawn. The other thing you can do to remove red thread fast from your lawn is to apply fungicide in your lawn, which will remove the disease faster from the lawn but can cause some temporary damage to the lawn.
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Baking Soda And Water
Another method to help get rid of tree fungus is using a baking soda and water mixture. Baking soda is a great gentle solution that prevent fungus from growing because it acts as an antifungal agent. Keep in mind that this solution will not completely get rid of tree fungus. It will simply act as a preventative to stop fungus from growing. Youll need to use another method to get rid of the existing fungus. Heres how you can create your own baking soda and water spray:
Now that you have your baking soda mixture, water your trees and shrubs and then wait 2-3 days before applying your baking soda mixture. Its important to not apply the solution when the fungus is fully exposed to the sun. Spray down the infected area as well as around the tree for best results.
What Are Lawn Fungus And Disease
- Lawn fungus and disease are ailments to lawns caused by pathogens that take hold on grass and can range from cosmetic damage to your lawn to grass death.
- There are a large variety of different lawn diseases and fungi which can affect a lawn. Observe your lawn closely and view the symptoms to figure out what disease is present.
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Castile Soap Essential Oil Solution
If you see large numbers of fungus gnats, then one organic insecticide to try is a castile soap solution. For those of you who do not know, this is not a generic soap. Castile soap was made in the Mediterranean area before its use spread to Europe. Traditionally, castile soap was made of olive oil. It gets its name from the Castile region of Spain.
Castile soap is produced based only on vegetables with no animal fat or synthetic ingredients. This is a 100% organic soap that will not damage the environment when it ends up in the drain. It is not toxic, and it is usually sold both in liquid and solid form. These days, the soap is also made with coconut, castor, or hemp oils. Sometimes its made with avocado, walnut, and almond oils as well.
Castile soap is not meant to be used as an insecticide but mainly as a body cleaning product due to its lathering, moisturizing, and cleansing properties. However, there are more than 20 uses of this soap, from deodorant, dish soap, shampoo, body wash, and plant spray for bugs.
In case you want to use this soap as a fungus gnats killer, here what to do:
How Do Fungi Affect The Soil
Fungus generally does not harm the soil itself. The only problem is with the deficiency of nutrients and the growth of excessive fungi can kill your loving plants. Some of the direct effect of fungi on the soil is-
- Increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
- Balance the mineral content in the soil.
- Help in decaying the hardest of organic matter.
- Excess of fungus will increase salinity in the soil.
- Consumes nutrient faster than any plant.
- Create dead patches in the soil, especially in the lawn. It seems like a deserted spot between the grass cover.
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What Else Might Be Wrong With My Grass
There are several other reasons your grass might be dying or yellow. A pest infestation, underwatering, iron chlorosis and too much shade also cause your yard to die.
When it comes to lawn pests, chinch bugs are the most common culprit to eat away at your grass. These insects typically start near concrete areas such as driveways, sidewalks or curbs. To test for chinch bugs, cut the hole out of the bottom of a metal can . Push the can into the yard about one inch deep near the dead patch. Fill the can with water. If you have chinch bugs, these pesky pests will float to the top of the water.
Grubs can also damage your lawn by feeding on the roots. These creatures can cause damage to your grassespecially after you resodwhich can result in your being able to lift turf like a carpet, especially if you have St. Augustine. To determine if you have a grub problem, cut a one-foot square piece of sod in your yard where you believe you have a problem. Lift the section up and visibly inspect it to see if you see the grubs in the soil.
If your grass needs more water, the blades will typically curl in. When you walk across a lawn that is water-deficient, you will be typically be able to see your footprints. To avoid lawn damage from insufficient water, try to water deeply and less frequently instead of watering every day.
If your grass has yellow stripes or is completely yellow, you may have iron chlorosis. This condition occurs when you have too much phosphorus in your soil.
Brown Patch Lawn Disease
Brown Patch and Dollar Spot can be easily confused for one anotherthey prefer similar conditions and even manifest in similar ways. The main way you can tell them apart is simple, though: Brown Patch will leave large, circular areas of discolored grass on your lawn as opposed to the small patches found with a Dollar Spot infection.
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