How To Identify Lawn Fungus The Main Symptoms
You might be wondering, âwhat does grass fungus look like?â In many instances, the tell-tale signs and symptoms are similar. However, with so many varieties of fungus out there, each species manifests itself differently.
Letâs take a look at some of the most common defining characteristics from the kind of fungus you might encounter on your lawn.
- Snow Mold
Snow mold typically occurs in vascular plant species and moss, so if your grass has some moss, you may be more likely to see these. This kind of fungus typically appears late in the winter when the snow begins to melt, leaving behind a series of pale-colored circular patches. Some might be just a few inches wide, others several feet wide.
- Rust Disease
Rust disease creates rust-like spots on leaves, plants, and grass. You should see the orange-reddish color on the grass, and may notice it on your clothes or shoes after walking on the grass.
- Red Thread Disease
With red thread disease, youâll notice straw-colored patches in your grass. The fungus is shaped irregularly and appears a light red or pink color.
- Take-all Patches
With a take-all patch, the fungus infects and kills the roots o the grass, leaving behind circular changes in color throughout the lawn. You should notice red, yellow, and brown colors.
- Brown Patches
This is probably one of the most common symptoms of lawn fungus. Because the fungus impacts the ability of grass to grow, brown patches of various shapes and sizes are very common.
- Dollar Spots
How To Stop Lawn Fungus
Lawns tend to become infected with fungal diseases when they are weak from improper care or weather conditions. It is more effective to properly care for your lawn all the time than to treat fungal problems after they arise. Irrigation timing, fertilizer and lawn maintenance affect how susceptible lawns are to fungi, although fungicides can also be helpful for certain severe fungus outbreaks. A lawn that is too moist or too dry will be most susceptible to fungus problems.
Water the lawn in the morning rather than during the afternoon or at night. Watering during the middle of day is inefficient because the afternoon sun causes a large percentage of the water to evaporate before it reaches plant roots. Watering at night contributes to fungal diseases, because the lawn stays wet overnight. It is better to water the lawn deeply and relatively infrequently than to water it lightly and frequently.
Mow the lawn when it is dry to prevent fungal spores from spreading across the lawn. Mow the lawn to the recommended height for the specific variety of grass, and do not cut it too short. Different grass species do best at different heights, and grass should be kept longest during summer. For example, most rye grasses and fine fescues should be cut to 2 to 2.5 inches during fall and spring and 2.5 to 3 inches during summer. Fine fescues grow well in urban California landscapes.
Lawn Care Tips: How To Stop Lawn Fungus
Usually, lawn diseases will not cause major problems for lawns. Lawn care problems caused by fungus will only happen when there has been an extended period of exposure to heat and humidity and of course, negligence.
Lawn yards that experience a lot of users often get fungus attacks compared to those owned by homeowners. It stands to reason that the more exposure or activity that occurs on a lawn, the more prone it is to lawn disease, especially lawn fungus.
Regular lawn inspection from a lawn mowing service can help identify where your lawn is struggling early enough so treatment can be initiated to stop lawn fungus.
In this post, we have discussed several tips on how to stop lawn fungus:
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Diy Lawn Fungus Control Vs Professional Treatment
If you discover fungus on your lawn, you want to address it right away. But should you DIY it or call a professional for help?
If the issue is a simple fix, and you know exactly what it is and how to go about killing the disease, doing it yourself can save time and money. However, if you dont choose the correct treatment, you could do more harm than good, and end up spending more in the long run. Not to mention, lawn fungus treatment products designed for consumer use arent always as powerful as those used by professionals, so it may take longer to solve the problem on your own.
Lawn fungus and disease is a common problem, and it doesnt have to mean that all of your hard work was in vain. Sometimes its due to factors out of your control, but taking the right steps to prevent and treat disease can keep your grass looking beautiful all season long.
Causes Of Lawn Fungal Diseases
Just like there are a plethora of species of fungi that live inside the human bodies without causing any diseases, there are also numerous types of fungal organisms that inhabit your lawn.
Many of these are beneficial, but there are also pathogens that if left will multiply uncontrollably and cause various maladies to the grass of your turf.
If allowed, these fungi dont only give your turf an unpleasant look but can destroy your entire lawn in favorable conditions. Moreover, the lawnmowers can quickly spread the fungus to other healthy parts of your lawn.
If you notice the fungal infection in an initial stage and you apply the right fungicide on time, the affected areas of grass have many chances to fully recover in 2-3 weeks.
Several factors that can cause a lawn fungal infection:
- High humidity level
- Sudden changes in temperature and humidity
- Mowing the grass too low
From all the causes mentioned earlier, I would say that the high humidity level is the most common cause.
Since your lawn grass grows outside, you dont always have full control over how much water it receives. For instance, during long periods of rain, plus an improper water drainage caused by poor landscape grading, your lawn is the proper environment for the development of harmful fungal pathogens.
Drought and the lack of enough water might as well favor the occurrence of these conditions. A balanced watering schedule is, therefore, essential for any lawn.
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How To Stop The Lawn Fungus
When you spot a fungus problem in your lawn, correctly identify the particular types of disease responsible before deciding on a treatment or get a professional to examine it and proffer the right solution. The following outlines standard methods of treating a lawn with discoloration from fungi. Depending on the severity of the disease infestation on your grass, additional treatment can be applied.
How To Treat Summer Patch Lawn Disease
Prevent summer patch by not cutting more than 2/3 the length of grass when you mow. Taking that much length from grass that has been left to grow long is the cause most associated with the cause of this disease. Known as scalping, the practice of mowing too closely weakens the grass and makes it vulnerable to infection. Avoid adding nitrogen-based fertilizer to your soil in summer. Watering lightly and frequently in hot weather is another practice to avoid as it dampens the shallow areas where magnaporthe poae resides, helping promote its development. Soil aeration is important to prevent thatch buildup and improve drainage. Because summer patch can cause massive damage in a short time, fungicides are often necessary to combat its spread.
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Fungicides Are Your One
If everything else fails, then consider having fungicides introduced into your lawn yard to stop lawn fungus. There are different variety of fungicides so choose a product that is suited for your lawn species.
This recommendation should come from lawn care experts who are experienced in lawn care in Texas. If you must handle your fungus treatment, please follow instructions to the letter to avoid mistakes. When in doubt, engage your lawn care company for support where needed. Fungicides are a guaranteed effective means of stopping lawn fungus so hold nothing back if this is the only option left to tackle the blight.
In conclusion, lawn fungus is a normal occurrence on a lawn and can be avoided with healthy lawn care practices. Mild fungus infection on the lawn can be stopped with adjustment in certain lawn care practices. If everything fails, consider introducing fungicides to combat and stop lawn fungus effectively.
Mow Regularly At The Right Height
Mowing too short weakens the grass plant, making it more susceptible to infection. Most grass types should be mowed using a high mowing setting. Bermudagrass grass in the south should be mowed using a lower mower setting and zoysiagrass should be mowed using a middle setting. Mow often enough so that no more than the height of the grass blade is removed at one time.
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Options For Chemical Control
Because improving your lawns health is typically enough to get rid of lawn rust, applying fungicide isnt generally recommended. Lawn rust wont kill your grass, and even if you cant get rid of it this season, your lawn will still be able to produce healthy grass by next summer.
Whats more, the fungicides that work best on lawn rust, DMI and QoI , are usually available only to landscaping professionals.
If you decide to go the chemical route, though, fungicide should be used only on a well established lawn and only after your other lawn care efforts have failed. Apply the fungicide before the lawn goes dormant for the winter. Most lawn rust infections clear up with just one treatment.
Newly seeded lawns are an exception. For these, apply fungicide at the first sign of lawn rust to prevent the fungus from taking hold.
When the conditions for it are just right, lawn rust can make frequent appearances. If you live in a climate with cool springs and warm, bright early summers or you have a shady lawn in heavy clay, you might find this orange blight showing up every year.
In this situation, its reasonable to apply a fungicide to keep the fungus under control. A professional gardener or landscaper can advise you on the best type for your lawn.
How To Identify Grass Fungus On Your Lawn
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Identify Rust Lawn Disease
There are a few different types of rust that can attack your lawn. One type, called rust diseases affect the plant’s nutrients and water supply which causes it to become undernourished or stressed causing an orange-yellow color on its blades as well as making them brittle enough for breaking easily with little force applied against them–this usually happens during periods where temperatures stay above 70 degrees Fahrenheit . Other forms lie dormant until autumn when conditions become wetter than normal.
When you notice the first signs of rust disease, it is important to act immediately. Lawns are most susceptible when they experience inconsistent watering or become over-wateredthis can lead them into more serious problems like stunting roots and lowering nutrient reserves which may cause a lack in nutrients such as iron . If Rust Is Currently Unchecked–or if symptoms have started appearing on your lawn but don’t yet look severe enough to indicate an emergency situation has begun), begin watching out near shady areas with compacted soil newly seeded patches that havent been established properly due to heavy traffic before planting time.
Critical Turf Disease Facts And How Lawn Fungus Control Works
Weeds are the in-your-face criminals of the movie about your lawn with their bold intrusion into your space and blatant disregard for your desire to have a gorgeous green lawn. They barge in kind of like Transformers evil Megatron without a care for the destruction theyre leaving in their wake.
Turf diseases, on the other hand, are their stealth-like sidekicks. While weeds are making all the noise and distraction over here, diseases are more like Catwoman, sneaking in when and where you least expect them. And before you know it, you have a full lawn fungus infestation.
We get it, just when you understand one lawn invader, you have to learn about another. Turf diseases can be hard to understand.
Here are some of the most critical turf disease contributors and how lawn fungus control works.
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Water Your Lawn In The Morning
If your grass is wet when night falls, it becomes a favorable environment for lawn fungus to grow. Thats because several of these diseases depend on wet foliage to reproduce and spread.
For this reason, its best to water your lawn before 10 a.m. when dew is still on the ground. Rather than leaving your lawn damp for hours, this approach minimizes the length of time your grass is wet and defends against the rise of lawn disease.
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How Do I Treat Brown Spots In My Lawn
Treat a patchy lawn by identifying the problem first. If fungus is to blame, treat it with appropriate fungicides. At the same time, take steps to boost your turfs overall health, such as mowing to a longer length, watering adequately and fertilizing correctly. If you notice problems such as thatch or compacted soil, correct those issues to support healthy grass growth.
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Natural Ways To Control Fungus In Your Lawn
There are several ways you can eliminate fungus in the lawn, either you can go with baking soda or with neem oil or you can also use milk.
- Baking soda the best natural and effective way to eliminate fungicide in the lawn is to apply a baking soda solution. When baking soda is sprayed on the lawn, the soda disrupts the balance of the ions in the fungal cells which eliminates fungus from the lawn. Baking soda also eliminates fungus by leaving alkaline residues on the surface of the plant. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda in one gallon of water and spray the solution twice a week in the lawn.
- Neem oil neem oil as the name suggest comes from the neem tree. Neem oil contains lots of essential nutrients and supplements which kills the fungicide in the lawn. Neem oil contains azadirachtin which acts as an insect repellent. Pour 5ml neem oil in one gallon water and spray it in the lawn once a week. Neem oil every month in the lawn will also helps the lawn to be healthy.
- Milk normal milk mixed with water sprayed in the lawn can also be very effective to kill all the fungus in the lawn as milk contains amino acids and salts which kills and controls the fungus in the lawn. Take milk and water in the ratio of 1:9 and spray the solution once a month in the lawn.
How Do You Get Rid Of Grass Rust
Good news here! Grass rust is probably the easiest lawn disease to get rid of.
An application of a high-nitrogen, quick-release fertilizer, such as Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food, when rust appears will make it disappear quickly. Nitrogen triggers leaf growth. This surge of growth when the lawn is naturally trying to slow down will grow the grass out of trouble. If your lawn is dry, watering the grass will also stimulate growth. Applying a fungicide is seldom necessary and not recommended.
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Do You Have To Sanitize Your Lawn Mower
Of course, one of the ways to keep fungus from spreading to your lawn is by sanitizing your lawn mower. If things are definitely getting out of control, this may be a necessary action you need to take each time you are going to mow a different lawn.
However, let me point your focus back to the three main conditions fungus needs to spread.
Maintaining a healthy environment is vital in order to maintain a fungus-free lawn. In which case, your lawn mower may not necessarily need to be sanitized or disinfected.
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If You Need To Water Water Properly
Many diseases infect lawns when the grass blades are wet. To keep grass blades dry, water only if needed and water deeply so you can go longer between watering. Watering in the morning, between 6AM and 10AM, is best since the grass blades have plenty of time to dry during the day. Especially avoid watering late in the day or at night, since the grass blades will stay wet all night long, encouraging leaf diseases. One simple way to ensure that your lawn gets just the right amount of water at the right time is to pair the Gro® 7 Zone Controller with your irrigation system. It automatically adjusts itself based on real-time local weather data and can be monitored from anywhere via your smartphone or tablet.
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