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.
Best Fungicides For Lawns
Have you noticed dark, brown, yellow, or white areas on your lawn? Those might be signs of lawn fungus.
Keep reading for advice on how to recognize the lawn fungal disease and for my list of the best fungicides for lawns.
Just like tomatoes and other garden plants, lawn grass can also be affected by a great variety of harmful fungal pathogens.
Any lawn will naturally contain many types of fungi. However, the majority of them will never cause any problems.
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When To Apply Fungicides
Fungicides are most useful when applied right before times of stress. For cool season lawns this is without a doubt right before the heat of summer. Whenever we get those first really hot days, our cool season lawn instantly gets weakened. Again, think of your immune system. You are more likely to get sick if you are hot and dehydrated since your immune system is weakened.
Applying preventative fungicides right before these harsh conditions is a lot like feeding your body essential vitamins and nutrients right before an outbreak of seasonal cold or flu.;
For warm season lawns theres really 2 times where your lawn is most stressed. The first time is heading into summer when rain and humidity ramp up. The second time is when soil temps start to decrease after the peak of summer, heading into fall. Apply preventative fungicide leading up to these 2 transitional times.;
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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.
Our List Of Lawn Diseases
The commonest lawn diseases are listed below.
The red thread is one of the commonest fungal diseases on lawns, especially on lawns that are deficient in nitrogen. It produces brown patches, especially during a wet summer and during the autumn.
The red thread is caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis. It rarely completely kills the grass and the patches recover with proper lawn preparation and treatment. Affected grass produces a reddish tinge, later becoming light brown or even bleached in appearance and the leaves may bind together. Patches vary in size, usually from 7.5cm to 25cm in diameter, but can be much larger.
Fusarium patch or snow mould
Fusarium patch, more commonly called snow mould, is a common cause of brown patches on lawns. It is particularly prevalent in autumn or during mild spells in winter, but attacks can occur at any time of the year.
Snow mould is caused by the fungus Monographella nivalis and at first produces small patches of yellowy, dying grass that usually turn brown later. The patches increase in size and may reach 30cm in diameter, sometimes merging so that large areas can be affected. During wet conditions a white or pinky, cotton-like fungal growth may be noticed, especially at the margins of the patch.
Fairy rings are caused by a number of different fungi that produce rings of dead grass and usually toadstools in the lawn in late summer and autumn.
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How A Lawn Mower Can Spread Fungus
There are numerous ways fungus spores can spread to new locations.
The microscopic fungal spores can easily attach themselves to the undercarriage of your lawn mower, the blades, the wheels, and even to your boots and clothes.
From there, it doesnt take much effort for the fungal spores to contaminate other lawns that you mow with the same lawn mower .
Things dont stop here.
Before blaming your boots or your lawn mower, let me tell you that fungal spores can also be airborne, meaning they can spread through the air or wind.
This last point really goes to show how important it is to maintain a healthy environment that does not allow the fungus to grow and thrive.
This can be the difference between one lawn having no sign of any fungus even though the neighboring lawn has brown patches.
As a matter of fact, lawn mowers can even spread weeds as well I wrote an article on this very topic recently, you can check it out here. And this is why we need to be very thorough with the cleaning of our mowers.
How To Identify Control And Prevent Brown Patch
In summer, your lawn serves as the welcome mat for pool parties, barbecues and Fourth of July celebrations.
But the seasonal heat can bring unwelcome, uninvited visitors, too: brown patch and other summer fungus lawn diseases.;
I kind of jokingly tell people when you wake up in the morning and go out, and all you hear is the hum of you neighbors air conditioning, its already hot and humid, thats perfect brown patch weather, says Dennis Patton. Hes the ornamentals, turf and extension master gardeners agent for the Kansas State Extension in Johnson County, where brown patch is a common headache.;
If youve seen those tell-tale brown splotches or signs of other lawn diseases appearing across your yard, heres how to stop brown patch in its tracks to get your home lawn back to its green best, and how to make fungicide a part of your lawn care arsenal so it doesnt crop back up next year.
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Common Lawn Fungus In St Augustine Grass:
Take All Root Rot:;A;Lawn fungus disease that begins with yellowish chlorosis that turns brown to straw colored. It may form in circular patches. The turf becomes thin because the roots, nodes, and stolons become infected and die. Topdressing with peat moss along with fungicide treatment can suppress the disease.
Grey Leaf Spot:;A lawn fungus disease that begins with yellowish chlorosis that turns brown. Numerous oblong gray to ash brown lesions appear on the grass blades. Topdressing with peat moss along with fungicide treatment can halt the disease.;
Brown Patch: Lawn disease that has a circular or irregularly shaped patches of light brown, thin grass.;These areas range in diameter from a few inches to several feet. Often the center of the patch will recover, resulting in a doughnut-shaped pattern. ;In most cases, infected areas will not recover during the current growing season. ;Damaged areas are also slower to green up the following year; usually thirty days behind the rest of the lawn.
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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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How To Prevent Brown Patch Fungus
Fescue grass takes a beating in the warmer months, especially when in full sun. The heat alone is damaging, but add some humidity and the conditions are just right for brown patch fungus. The rule of thumb is, that when the temperature plus the percent of humidity equals 165 or greater, this disease can develop. For example: 90 degrees + 80% humidity = 170 = Brown Patch.
Seeing brown spots in your yard? We live in a region with hot temperatures and high humidity and this damaging disease can affect our lawns.;;Brown patch fungus, caused by Rhizoctonia solani fungus, is one of the most destructive lawn diseases of all turf grass diseases.
Signs of Brown Patch
If you see spotting on your leaf blades, which can eventually bleed together to turn the entire leaf brown, this fungus may be invading your lawn.
The damage first appears as circular areas of brown and dead grass surrounded by a narrow, dark ring. Patches are typically irregular and can be quite large. Dew, mist or rain on your grass leaf blades in these conditions can contribute to the rise of brown patch.; Most of the time, your lawn has become infected with this fungus during a period of cooler temperatures.; The disease can develop well below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but doesnt spread and become apparent to the naked eye until temperatures and humidity levels rise.
This means that April showers dont just bring May flowersthey might bring some brown patch, too.
Use High Nitrogen Fertilizer To Enrich Your Lawn
The use of high nitrogen fertilizer is very effective in keeping the lawn healthy and strong enough to fight off lawn fungus. Determine the amount of fertilizer it needs for optimal growth and have it applied by an experienced lawn maintenance company. If in doubt on the type or amount of lawn fertilizer to use, try a little amount of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer at a minimum of two times a year, during spring and after summer, then check for the outcome. If the grass appears to be doing badly, introduce more nitrogen fertilizer to it. Some grasses do well with only twice yearly fertilizer applications.
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How To Apply The Fungicide
Some products might require you to water the lawn and let it dry before applying the fungicide. Others have better results when you apply them during a particular time of the day.
All the products are different so do not imagine that the same rules apply to all of them.
Before utilizing the fungicide, make sure you carefully read the products label and instructions. These should include important details like after which period you have to reapply the treatment, dosage, whether it should be diluted with water , best temperature, and so on.
Depending on the fungicide of your choice, you might also need either a broadcast spreader or a general hose sprayer to apply the fungicide. If you opt for a liquid fungicide that comes into a recipient that should be sprayed by connecting it to the water hose, you wont need any of the tools mentioned above.
Also, when you apply the fungicide, its always advisable to wear safety goggles and gloves and avoid any skin contact. You should also not use the solution near any wells or animal drinking water sources or food.
Lawn Fungus Identification Guide
Brown PatchLeaf SpotSlime Mold
After careful manicuring and fertilization of your lawn, the last thing you want to see are defects. When defects, like bare spots or yellowing, crop up, you may immediately think watering and fertilization is all you need. In some cases, though, youre dealing with a lawn disease caused by a fungal outbreak that requires more than just maintenance.
In our list of common fungi-caused lawn diseases, youll learn how the fungi appear and what to do to eliminate and prevent them. Youll also learn whether the condition is harmful to your turf or not.
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Apply Fungicide If Needed
To control lawn diseases such as brown patch and dollar spot – or help prevent them if you have had disease problems in previous years – apply a fungicide made for lawns. Scotts® DiseaseEx Lawn Fungicide provides broad spectrum disease prevention and control. You can apply any time on all lawn types. Just be sure to follow the directions on the label.
Does Milk Kill Fungus
Milk is an organic fungicide and can be very effective at killing powdery mildew. You can create a spray by mixing the following two ingredients:
- 1 cup skimmed milk
- 9 cups of water
Every other week, apply this mixture to the lawn. Using too much milk can result in sooty mould, so stick to the exact recipe.
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How To Identify Lawn Diseases
Something looking not quite right on your lawn, but you’re not sure what it is? Use this guide to common lawn diseases to help you ID it and learn how to treat it.
Anytime you grow a bunch of the same plants together, disease problems can take hold and begin to spread before you even notice theyre happening. This can be a real challenge for lawns, because lawns are made of hundreds of thousands of the same type of grass plants. Even when you give your lawn excellent care, the grass can still become infected with various lawn diseases that can lead to dead or discolored areas. Disease spores can float by in the air or hide in the soil, and when conditions are right, they multiply. Thats why its a good idea to protect your lawn, or fight back if disease has already taken hold, with Scotts® DiseaseEX Lawn Fungicide. It starts to work in just 24 hours to prevent and control 26 different lawn diseases for up to 4 weeks .
Here are some of the most common lawn diseases and how to identify them.
Lawn Fertilization And Fungicide Treatment
The best way to combat a lawn fungus is by maintaining a healthy lawn. Lawn care and lawn fertilization programs keep your lawn healthy throughout the year and is the best way to keep it fungus-free. If its too late and your lawn is under attack from brown patch or other lawn fungi, then a fungus control program may be your best answer.
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Bioadvanced Fungus Control For Lawns
Fungus Control for Lawns from BioAdvanced is a liquid fungicide designed to cure and prevent the common lawn fungal diseases such as Brown Patch, Powdery Mildew, Dollar Spot, Anthracnose, Fusarium Patch, Red Thread, Stripe Smut, Summer Patch, Rust, Snow Mold, Gray Leaf Spot, and more.
According to the product info, this fungicide has a weatherproof formula that provides long protection for your turf after it is applied .
This product can easily be connected to the water hose and sprinkled over your lawn.
As mentioned before, the downside of the liquid fungicides that are spread using the water hose is that these are not very economical in terms of the quantity used.
Even though its specified that the product can be used for up to 5,000 square feet, if youre not careful and you use too high water pressure, you can quickly waste a big portion of the liquid.
Thats why I personally prefer the granular or the liquid fungicides that you manually have to dilute with water and spray them using a manual hose sprayer.
Mow Your Lawn So Grass Stays Long
Visually, shorter grass may seem like an appealing option. But too short of a lawn one that exposes the stems of grass blades translates into a stressed lawn with minimal energy reserves to ward off disease.
To avoid this problem, set your mower blades higher so that only the top of grass blades are cut. With more extensive root systems, longer grass can better withstand harsh conditions and crowd out the development of lawn fungus.
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How Does Lawn Fungus Spread
One of the ways to make sure we keep our lawn in the best condition and health possible is by understanding how fungus acts.
There are three basic necessities or conditions that need to be met for the fungus to spread effectively. All three need to be met. Otherwise, fungal contamination is unlikely.
Now, consider for a moment what we are facing here. The first two plants and the spores are a fact of nature.
The plants will be there all the time, and fungal spores are often found in the soil itself. You cannot avoid them nor eliminate either of them.
The last element the environment is something that we can actually control. And this is the key here. But what about your lawn mower?