Maintaining a healthy lawn is an essential part of keeping your home beautiful and inviting. However, several factors can contribute to lawn diseases, causing the grass to die, discolor, or develop spots.
In this article, we’ll explore six of the most common lawn diseases and provide tips on how to prevent them.
Common Lawn Diseases
1. Dollar Spot
Dollar spot is a fungal disease that affects grass in warm, humid weather. It causes small, straw-colored spots on the leaves, which eventually join together to form larger patches.
The disease is most common in lawns with low nitrogen levels and high moisture content.
To prevent dollar spots, maintain proper adding plant food to the soil and watering schedules. Avoid watering the plants too frequently the lawn and reduce shade by pruning trees and bushes.
If the disease has already affected your lawn, apply fungicides as recommended by a lawn care professional.
2. Brown Patch
Brown patch is a fungal disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani. It can affect a wide variety of turfgrass species, including cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescue. It can also affect warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass, St. Augustine, and zoysia.
It often appears in hot and humid weather, and watering the plants too frequently and fertilizing can increase its severity.
To prevent a brown patch, avoid watering your lawn in the evening. Prolonged moisture on the grass can lead to this.
Make sure your lawn receives enough sunlight and air circulation to dry out quickly.
Fungicides can also be used to manage brown patches, but make sure to read the instructions carefully before applying. Do not be too excessive in using fungicides which will result in fungicide resistance.
3. Pythium Blight
Pythium blight is a water mold that thrives in hot, humid conditions. It causes thinning and wilting of the grass, eventually leading to brown patches.
The disease is common in lawns with poor drainage and giving too much water in the plants.
To prevent pythium blight, maintain proper watering schedules, and ensure the soil has proper drainage. Avoid adding too much fertilizer, as excess nitrogen can increase the risk of plant disease.
If the grass disease has already affected your lawn, apply fungicides as recommended by a lawn care professional.
Rust is a fungal disease that causes yellow or orange powder-like spots on the grass blades. It often appears in the fall and can be spread by mowing and foot traffic.
To prevent rust, maintain proper fertilization and watering schedules and avoid mowing the lawn when the grass is wet. Rake and remove any fallen leaves, as they can harbor the disease.
Fungicides can also be used to manage rust, but they are usually not necessary if you maintain good lawn care practices.
5. Snow Mold
Snow mold is a fungal disease that appears in the spring when the snow melts. It causes circular, straw-colored patches on the lawn, which eventually turn brown.
The disease is most common in lawns with excessive thatch and poor drainage.
Avoid heavy feeding of the plants in the fall. This is to prevent snow mold, as excessive growth caused by fertilization is susceptible to this disease.
Rake and remove any fallen leaves and grass clippings, which can create a favorable environment for the disease.
Apply fungicides in the fall to prevent the disease from developing.
6. Fusarium Patch
Fusarium patch is a fungal disease that causes circular, reddish-brown patches on the lawn. It often appears in the fall and spring, in lawns with poor drainage and excessive thatch.
To prevent fusarium patches, maintain proper watering schedules and ensure the soil has proper drainage.
Avoid heavy fertilization in the fall, as it can promote excessive growth that is susceptible to the disease.
If the disease has already affected your lawn, apply fungicides as recommended by a lawn care professional with a selective herbicide.
Prevention and Management of Lawn Diseases
1. Lawn Maintenance Practices
Proper lawn maintenance practices can go a long way in preventing lawn diseases. Mowing the lawn at the right height, watering it deeply but infrequently, and ensuring good soil drainage are all essential.
Avoid putting too much fertilizer, as this can cause excessive growth that is prone to diseases.
Fungicides can be an effective way to manage lawn diseases. However, they should only be used as a last resort and according to the made by the company instructions.
If you suspect that your lawn has a disease, contact a lawn care professional. For advice on the appropriate fungicide to use.
3. Lawn Renovation
If your lawn is severely affected by a disease, you may need to consider lawn renovation. This involves removing the existing grass and replanting it with grass seeds able to fight against disease varieties.
A lawn care professional can advise you on the best course of action for your lawn.
Lawn diseases can be a frustrating and costly problem for homeowners.
However, with proper lawn maintenance practices and timely treatment, many diseases can be prevented or managed.
“By taking the necessary steps,” you can keep your lawn healthy and enjoy a lush and beautiful lawn all year round.