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.
Scotts Disease Ex Vs Bioadvanced By Bayer Fungus Control
Scotts Disease Ex vs BioAdvanced. These are two of the top brands for home lawn fungus applications. Both products can be used for preventative and control of most diseases. For best results applications should be made before symptoms occur or at the first sign of the disease. Each product is a broad spectrum fungicide.
Scotts Disease Ex
Apply in 14 28 day intervals
5,000 sq ft for Preventative
2,500 sq ft for Control
Do not apply more than 37 lbs. per 1,000 sq ft in a single year
Do not apply directly to water and avoid runoff
For best results apply fungicide prior to disease symptoms when conditions are favorable for the disease.
Application is made using a spreader. Best results come with a Scotts Spreader that is calibrated for this product.
Apply in 14 30 day intervals
5,000 sq ft for most diseases
2,500 sq ft for Bermuda grass decline, Fusarium Blight, and Summer Patch
Do not apply when lawn is under stress from heat or drought
Do not apply when temps are over 85 degrees
For best results apply fungicide prior to disease symptoms when conditions are favorable for the disease.
Application is made by attaching your hose to the spray bottle
How Does Corn Gluten Meal Work
Corn gluten is a byproduct of corn milling that has historically been used as a supplement in animal feed. This product was discovered to kill weeds before they establish. Corn gluten does not prevent weed seed from germinating but inhibits the young weed plants from developing roots.
The newly germinated weed plants are thus left without a mechanism to absorb water and they quickly die of dehydration. The application or this organic weed killer has to be timed just when the weeds have germinated.
Corn gluten meal becomes ineffective when applied any time before weed seed germinate or after the weed plants have established and grown strong root system. At this time, the product will only serve as a fertilizer to your grass and weeds as well.
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What To Expect From Fungus Fighter
Have reasonable expectations after an application. Fungicides are used as disease suppressors. When applied as directed, Fungus Fighter will suppress the spread of most common turf diseases. However, Fungus Fighter will not change brown or yellow spots to green. Regular lawn maintenance, re-applications of Fungus Fighter, and routine fertilization will be required to rebuild healthy grass to grow out of the disease. Spot repairs or heavy overseeding may be necessary.
Turf disease in Bluegrass Lawns
Bluegrass diseases show up in the form of a slime or dust that wipes off, or even a patch that seems to die overnight. Apply Fungus Fighter in Late April to Early May when bluegrass is looking its best. Maintain continuous control by applying Fungus Fighter at 21 day intervals while conditions are favorable for disease.
Uncles Tip: Mow bluegrass shorter in the spring and be vigilant in the areas under trees or on the north that seem to hold the heavy dew longer in the morning. Mow the lawn shorter while it is cool, and rain is plentiful. In June, raise the mowing height and dont let the lawn dry out too much before starting the summer watering schedule. Should large areas die in the summer, add Stadium Special perennial rye grass, to your favorite blend in fall for a quick recovery.
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Managing Your Turf to Reduce Disease
How To Prevent Fungus
Water early in the day
Watering early in the day will allow your lawn to absorb the water and then dry off throughout the day. Watering late in the day or in the evening does not allow the lawn to dry and will promote fungus. Because fungus moves through water, a wet lawn will allow fungus to spread much faster.
Sharpen mower blades
It is always important to mow with sharp mower blades, but especially so when trying to prevent fungus. A dull blade can shred the grass blades leaving many openings for disease to enter.
Raise mowing height
When mowing, do not remove more than of the grass blade. This will allow the grass to stay healthy and strong. Scalping the lawn stresses the root system.
Dont over or under fertilize
Use high nitrogen fertilizer only in the spring. High nitrogen in late October/November will promote snow mold next year. When lawns have the right nutrients they need to grow, they are less susceptible to disease. Diseases such as red thread can often be controlled by adding nitrogen to your lawn.
Thatch is a layer of organic matter between the crown of the grass plants and the soil layer. Thatch can appear as a result of an imbalance in your soil or improper lawn maintenance practices.
We recommend removing thatch in the fall. Thatching brings up weed seeds and these are more prevalent in the spring. Use a heavy rake or thatching machine as needed to keep thatch to a minimum. The regular use of organics will help to keep thatch in order.
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Valuable Rules For Fungicide Application
When Should You Put Fungicide On Lawn
We recommend beginning lawn fungicide applications when nighttime low temperatures rise to 60°F. Typically, preventative applications are made at 14 to 30 day intervals, depending upon the fungicide. There are an abundance of lawn fungicides available that prevent brown patch and other lawn diseases.
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When To Apply Fungicide On Lawns: Experts Weigh In
Homeowners lead busy lives, with a seemingly endless list of things that need to be done at any given time. Faced with the reality of juggling work, home and recreation, its easy for your lawn to become an afterthought.
As much as we wish this wasnt the case, healthy and well-manicured lawns dont take care of themselves. First, you need to make sure your grass is getting the amount of water and sunshine it needsand not too much. Then, you need to make sure you are mowing your grass to the proper height. Although most homeowners stop here, to keep your lawn happy and looking great youll also want to have an understanding of your soil chemistry to determine what nutrients might be lacking.
What are some of the risks you run if you dont care for your grass? Lawn diseases, weeds and a dead, yellow lawn, just to name a few.
Lawn fungus can look like brown, patchy grass. What can you do about it?
Ignore it and hope the situation improves? Choose one of the fungicide treatments and cross your fingers it works? If you decide to ignore the problem and it doesnt go away, you may start researching when to apply fungicide on lawns.
The short answer to the question is that you should apply a fungicide as soon as disease symptoms are discovered on the lawn. Why? Because while fungicides will destroy any fungus that might be damaging your lawn and stop the fungi from spreading, they cant reverse the damage already caused by the fungus.
Classical Signs Of Fungus In A Garden Include:
- Brown, white or yellow rings or patches that appear to develop in breadth over time
- Parts of the garden which will show up obscured, disgusting, damp or gray Black, purple, dark, orange, or ruddy spots on the edges and/or stems of the garden grass
- Grass edges that may show up frayed, discolored, and/or distorted
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Preventive Fungicides: How They Work
Contact fungicides are sometimes called residual fungicides. This term describes the ability of these products to remain on the plant surface for several days after application. During this period, they offer continued protection against fungi. They are therefore prophylactic against a number of fungi species that cause lawn diseases.
The preventive benefits offered to plants remain as long as the fungicide doesnt get degraded by environmental elements such as sunlight or washed off by irrigation, wind, or rain. Repeated applications are therefore essential to ensure that the fungicide stays on the plant and continues to provide protection from fungi.
How To Prevent Lawn Fungus In The First Place
Unfortunately, a lot of times turf disease is beginning to fester before homeowners realize it and they make the problem worse. Watering habits and mowing habits are two practices that can ultimately have a pretty big impact on disease.
For one, it is recommended that you water early in the morning which gives the sun time to dry your lawn out. When you water in the evening hours, that water sits on the lawn and creates a habitat that can breed fungal growth.
Mowing habits also make a difference. You should keep your mower blades sharp and clean in order to prevent spreading disease. If you are utilizing a professional lawn mowing service and they are not cleaning their mower deck after each lawn , they could be spreading disease from one lawn to another.
In addition to certain cultural practices, you can also invest in preventative care. At Master Lawn, our Gold Program includes preventive turf disease treatments already built-in, allowing you to put disease worries out of your mind.
Given the severity of some of these diseases, a proactive approach is ideal so that you never even give these menaces the chance to wreak havoc.
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Best Fungicide For Lawns: What Should You Look For
Just like human medicine, fungicides work in different ways. However, the best fungicides have the following characteristics:
- First and foremost, they have been proven to be effective by quickly killing the lawn fungus. You can read online reviews to get a sense of whether other homeowners have found them to work.
- They offer protection against future fungal growth and attacks.
- Theres zero or minimal resistance to the fungicide by the specific lawn fungus.
- The fungicide doesnt pose a health risk to the people and pets who use or play on the lawn.
- The fungicide is low impact, to minimize any damage to the larger environment.
The success of a fungicide depends on its mechanism of action and fungicidal activity. Primarily, fungicides destroy lawn fungus by damaging their fungal cell wall and cell membranes. They may also inhibit vital cellular processes within the fungus, thereby killing it.
The best fungicides are those that have been designed to incorporate several killing mechanisms as part of their mode of action. This not only makes the fungicide more powerful, but also reduces the risk of resistance and tolerance development.
Ok You Have A Fungus Now What
Once you identify a fungus problem in your lawn, the obvious next step is to start working to combat the issue. This is where fungicides come in.
If youre not familiar with how or when to apply fungicides or which one to use for your problem, the following video should help.
This video by DoMyOwndiscusses the best way to apply fungicides, how often youll need to apply once the disease has been discovered, and how various fungicides work in your lawn.
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Feed Your Lawn Regularly
Nutrient deficiencies can weaken grass plants, so feed at least 4 times per year with Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Foods. A nourished lawn is better able to fend off diseases. To make the whole feeding process simple, sign up for our personalized Scotts® Lawn Care Programyou’ll get exactly what your lawn needs, right when it’s time to apply it, delivered to your doorstep. You can also for your smartphone to customize and track your personal lawn care program.
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:
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How To Treat Your Yard For Lawn Fungus
Once you have determined what type of fungus or disease is present, its time to treat. Its best to treat a diseased lawn as soon as you spot the problem, as some diseases can spread and kill the whole lawn.
The type of disease or fungus you have will determine the best treatment option. In some cases, the issue is weather or seasonally dependent and will clear up on its own once the weather changes. Other problems need immediate mitigation, such as fairy ring, powdery mildew, or smut, as they can kill the plants or cause permanent damage to the lawn.
To treat your issues, first identify whether it can be eradicated via changing your practices. Powdery mildew, for example, may be able to be taken care of by rinsing the plants and getting rid of leaves or any other nearby debris that is causing it to spread. Avoiding overwatering, letting the grass grow a bit longer between mowing and not over fertilizing can also help clear up the problem.
Some homeowners prefer to try to treat lawn diseases organically, rather than using fungicide. If your areas of fungus are small, using treatments like neem oil, cornmeal or baking soda solutions can be effective. Before you opt for an organic approach, though, do your research and be aware of the potential drawbacks. In some cases, using home remedies can only make the problem worse, or introduce new, unexpected issues.
What Causes White Mold On Grass
Powdery mildew disease in lawns is usually the result of trying to grow grass in a poor location. Caused by a fungus, the first symptoms are light spots on the blades of grass that may go unnoticed. As the disease progresses, youll see white patches that look as though they have been sprinkled with talcum powder.
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When Should I Spray My Lawn For Fungus
Lawn fungicide or fungus control can be applied to the lawn after brown patch has appeared, but it is best to take preventative action and begin applying fungus control for the duration of the summer months. We recommend beginning lawn fungicide applications when nighttime low temperatures rise to 60°F.
Preventing Lawn Disease And Fungus
The best way to deal with lawn disease and fungus is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Often, issues arise due to the way homeowners care for their lawns. Even some well-intentioned habits can cause problems, and making changes can prevent disease or keep it from causing permanent or widespread damage.
Some of the best methods of lawn fungus control to keep disease away include:
- Watering properly. Overwatering can cause mold, mildew and yard fungus to form. Once your grass is established, water deeply but less frequently. Your grass only needs about an inch of water per week. Water early in the day so grass will dry in the sun wet grass is more susceptible to fungus.
- Mow regularly, but dont cut the blades too short. Grass that is too short is more hospitable to disease. Keep your blades sharp so they cut without damage.
- Clean up debris from your yard. Leaving piles of leaves, branches and other debris creates the ideal breeding ground for fungus.
- Improve drainage. If you have low-lying areas or spots that dont drain well, fix them so that water doesnt pool and cause problems.
- Test the soil. Sometimes the problem is due to the nutrient balance in the soil, and changing or adjusting how you feed can solve it.
- Prevent spread by cleaning tools. Clean all of your lawn tools, including mower blades, rakes and shovels with a mixture of water and bleach to kill any spores that could be hiding there, waiting to cause a problem.
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