What is Pythium Blight?
Pythium Blight is a fungal disease that affects many types of grass, including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue. It is caused by the Pythium Aphanidermatum fungus, which thrives in warm, moist conditions, making it a common problem during the summer months.
This fungus is a common disease that can wreak havoc on your lawn if left unchecked.
Pythium blight can quickly spread through your lawn, leaving unsightly, dead patches of grass in its wake. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent and control this lawn disease.
In this article on how to pythium blight treatment and prevent, we’ll take a closer look at what Pythium blight is, how to identify it, and most importantly, how to prevent it from damaging your lawn.
Symptoms of Pythium Blight
The first signs of this disease are small, circular patches of brown, sunken grass that can quickly expand to several feet in diameter.
The patches are often surrounded by a ring of light green or yellow grass, which is a result of the fungus using up all the available nutrients in the soil.
The affected grass may also have a slimy, wet appearance and feel mushy when stepped on.
Causes of Pythium Blight
This fungus is more likely to occur in a warm season, humid weather, especially when nighttime temperatures remain above 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overwatering, poor drainage, and compacted soil can also create moist conditions that encourage the growth of the Pythium fungus.
In addition, mowing too low can stress the grass, and using too much nitrogen fertilizer can increase the risk of Pythium Blight.
How to Prevent Pythium Blight
Preventing this lawn disease is much easier than trying to treat it once it has taken hold. Here are some steps you can take to prevent Pythium Blight from affecting your lawn:
- Improve drainage: Aerate your lawn to improve drainage and reduce soil compaction. This will help to prevent water from pooling on the surface, which can encourage the growth of the Pythium fungus.
- Water properly: Water your lawn deeply and infrequently to avoid creating moist conditions in which Pythium Blight thrives. Water in the early morning so that the grass has time to dry out during the day.
- Mow at the right height: Mow your lawn at the proper height for your grass type to avoid stressing the plants. This will help them to resist diseases like Pythium SPP.
- Avoid over-fertilization: Too much nitrogen can create a lush, soft lawn that is more susceptible to Pythium Blight. Use a slow-release fertilizer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use disease-resistant grass: Choose grass varieties that are resistant to Pythium Blight, such as perennial ryegrass and tall fescue.
Treating Pythium Blight
If you suspect that your lawn has Pythium Blight, it’s important to act quickly to prevent the disease from spreading. Here are some steps you can take to treat Pythium Blight:
- Reduce moisture: Stop watering your lawn until the disease is under control. If possible, try to keep the grass dry for several days.
- Apply a fungicide: Apply a fungicide that is labeled Pythium Blight. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and repeat the treatment as necessary.
- Reseed or replace: If the disease has caused extensive damage, you may need to reseed or replace your lawn. Choose a disease-resistant grass variety and make sure to follow proper lawn care practices to prevent Pythium Blight from recurring.
Pythium Blight can quickly take hold and cause significant damage to your lawn. By following the prevention tips outlined above and acting quickly if you suspect an outbreak, you can keep your lawn healthy and disease-free.
Remember to choose disease-resistant grass varieties, water properly, and avoid over-fertilization to reduce the risk of Infected grass.