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How To Treat Leaf Spot Disease In Lawn

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How To Treat Leaf Spot Lawn Disease

Gray Leaf Spot Lawn Disease | Treating Lawn Fungus

Leaf spot lawn disease is a common disease that affects bluegrasses and bermuda grasses, including Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass. The disease is characterized by brown or black spots that occur on the leaves or sheaths of the grass. The spots appear more like small flecks initially, but they expand. As they expand, the spots appear encircled by a yellow ring. Ultimately, the disease can cause the affected grass to yellow, wilt, and die. Leaf spot lawn disease is caused by different types of fungi of the Helminthosporium species and typically plagues lawns during the humid weather and heat of summer.

Unfortunately, if leaf spot lawn disease is not controlled quickly, it can do significant damage and even destroy bermuda and bluegrass lawns. Here, well explore this grass blade disease in detail as well as how to prevent leaf spot.

Leaf Spot Disease Identification

Depending on how the host is infected will determine how leaf spot disease will reveal itself. You can identify leaf spot disease by observing the following:

Bacteria Bacterial leaf spots appear as necrotic lesions , often appearing to have a yellow outline.

Typical symptoms of bacterial leaf spots include the spots blackening post-infection. Eventually, older lesions dry, become papery. Bacterial spots may also exude white, yellow, cream, or silver ooze depending on the bacteria type, coming from splitting/opening lesions or the underside of the spots.

Fungi Fungal leaf spots occur from plant tissue necrosis. Such necrotic lesions consist of spots of dead and collapsed cells on the hosts foliage, typically localized in area and shape.

A standout fungal infection feature is spore presence in the center of the spots. Fungal leaf spots often appear with a brown, black, or reddish in color with a darker margin.

Virus Leaf spots can also be visible virus infection symptoms and are referred to as systemic symptoms. These leaf spots display chlorosis from chlorophyll development repression. Leaves may yellow and can have a spotted green or yellow appearance, chlorotic or necrotic rings . No signs of the viral pathogen itself will be apparent as in other infections detection of virus infections requires a microscope.

Leaf Spot Disease Treatment

Leaf spot-causing organisms survive or overwinter in infected, fallen leaves and twigs. Some of these organisms may persist in dying or dead twigs on the host.

Most disease damage occurs in the spring months, during wet weather. Disease-causing agents can be carried by wind or splashing water to newly emerging foliage where they germinate in the moisture, infecting the leaves. Overhead watering can also provide ideal disease spreading conditions.

Here are several ways to effectively deal with or treat leaf spot disease:

Do Nothing Most tree species tolerate leaf spots with little to no permanent damage. A tree affected early in the growing season will typically re-leaf with the new foliage potentially not affected. However, if such defoliation occurs during multiple growing seasons, even the most established plants can be adversely affected.

Remove and Destroy fallen leaves and twigs in the fall. The causal fungi or bacteria survive in fallen, decaying leaves and organic debris.

Avoid Splashing Water Cease any overhead watering, spraying, or other watering methods that result in splashing.

Seasonally Prune Your Trees During a trees dormant season, dead, dying, or infected areas of your tree should be pruned with clean and sanitized equipment. For more reading on tree pruning, visit

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How To Treat Brown Patch Lawn Disease

Since wet conditions help promote brown patch, make sure your lawn has good drainage and air flow, and consider pruning overgrown trees to prevent too much shade and increase air movement for faster drying. It may also be helpful to aerate and dethatch the lawn every 1 to 3 months to allow air, water, and nutrients to move more freely into the soil.

How To Prevent Leaf Spot

Leaf Spot &  Melting Out Diseases

To prevent Leaf Spot, avoid cutting grass too low. Longer, thicker-bladed grass is more resistant to the damage the spots can do to the grass blade. Adding nitrogen to the soil during a Leaf Spot infection can kill of the affected areas entirely. Avoid overwatering Leaf Spot-infected grass, and aerate the soil to promote water drainage during wetter months.

Fungicides should only be applied to lawns infected with Leaf Spot during the diseases initial stages. Fungicides applied during the melting out stage of the disease will have little to no effect. For optimum effects, fungicides should be applied once in early spring and a second time in late spring.

Read Also: Do It Yourself Lawn Fertilizer

How To Control Fusarium Patch

Proper lawn care maintenance which includes adequate fertiliser, reduction of thatch levels, aeration, morning watering that is deep and infrequent and mowing at regular intervals is recommended to prevent Fusarium Patch.

Alternately if the above lawn care maintenance procedures do not work, Fungicides with the Common Active Ingredient Iprodione should be used.

myhomeTURF recommends using Indigo Voltar an effective Broad Spectrum Fungicide that can be purchased through our myhomeTURF online store.

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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Practical Treatment Solutions: How To Deal With Lawn Diseases

Even with the best methods, expert tips, and proper mowing and watering, there is a chance that you will need to take action against common turf diseases. In most cases, it is necessary to use a combination of chemical products to eliminate the outbreak. Here is what you need to do:

  • Get professional lawn care company to help you choose the right treatments for your turf and the best products for the specific fungus disease you are facing
  • Stick to a fertilizing schedule that will allow your grass to grow naturally
  • Avoid excess watering and never mow while the turf is wet
  • Avoid mowing the turf too short as it can lead to additional stress and cause your lawn to be prone to Brown Patch, Leaf Spot, and other common lawn diseases.

Lawn treatments are useful but require high expertise before application. That is why we recommend acquiring help from a professional lawn care company that knows how to deal with any lawn disease and treat your turf the right way.

Call us today at and see how our team at Turf Badger can help you eliminate lawn diseases from your lawn.

Baking Soda As Cheap Alternative To Treat Septoria Leaf Spot

Leaf Spot and Melting Out Lawn Disease | Lawn Fungus

If you dont have potassium bicarbonate at home, you can also try baking soda to get rid of septoria leaf spot.

Just put baking soda on infected plants and spray warm water onto those plants so that baking soda can start doing its magic.

After a few days, you should see the first results and you should repeat this process until you finally get rid of leaf spot entirely.

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Identify Summer Patch Lawn Disease

Summer patch is a highly destructive fungus that can kill grass by infecting and destroying its roots. Summer patches usually stay in the soil, but when hot weather comes they’ll invade your lawn’s vascular system disrupting plants’ ability to take up water or nutrients because of how quickly it attacks them – not just attacking one area at time like other fungi do! It has been reported as being able survive through winter if left untreated thanks however once infected with this nasty disease you will see damaged leaves as well many times where brown spots may appear then spread all over until finally everything dies off leaving behind sickly looking dead stalks which are brittle enough for easily breaking under foot pressure.

Summer Patch changes in appearance as the disease progresses. Look for any or all of these early warning signs and late-stage symptoms:

  • Dark-green, wilted, irregular circles of grass up to 2 in diameter.
  • Straw-colored patches, rings, and crescents that increase in size during summer.
  • Enlarged patches, each with an outer edge that looks yellow or bronze.
  • Grass blades that are dying back from the tip.

How To Treat Leaf Spot Disease On Tomatoes

Leaf spots can appear on any type of plant. It often develops on garden tomatoes during the winter and initially spreads to the lower leaves.

Hence, if your garden tomato plant is affected by fungal spores, you will notice the lower leaves that are closer to the ground turn brown first.

The spots will be brown or black. Following are some tips to treat leaf spot disease on garden tomatoes:

  • You can pinch off the leaf spots from the infected leaves and bury them in the soil.
  • If you spot leaf spots on the lower parts of the plants, it is adequate to remove 1/3 of the leaves. However, it is essential to be careful and not remove more than this.
  • It is essential to try and keep the leaves dry to prevent the tomatoes from getting leaf spot disease.
  • In order to prevent the disease from spreading, some gardeners like to remove lower leaves from other plants as well to ensure they dont catch fungal spores in the soil.
  • This also helps enhance the air circulation for the plant, and the leaves dry faster.
  • Tomatoes are highly sensitive to numerous herbicides, which is why it is better to try alternative treatments.
  • You can also try covering the soil with plastic mulch, straw, or dried leaves. This will help prevent the disease from spreading to the tomatoes.
  • It is crucial for you to know that each spot has hundreds of fungal spores residing on it, and since they are contagious, they can spread to other plants in the surrounding area.

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    Identify Dollar Spot Lawn Disease

    Dollar spot is a disease that can affect warm- and cool-season grass. It occurs from late spring to late fall. When you first notice small, round patches of straw-colored grass about the size and shape as a silver dollar appear on your otherwise beautiful green lawn there is probably one thing to blame. A fungal disease called “dollar spot” has been known for wreaking havoc in golf courses. But these days it can also affect residential turf grasses like sod or revolution cuttings when left unchecked by mowers with proper blade widths who don’t spread their seeds around willy nilly before planting season starts up again come springtime!

    Neem Oil May Help As Well

    Fighting Leaf Spot Disease

    In my opinion, every serious gardener should have neem oil at home since it just helps to deter several pests and also help against various plants diseases, including septoria leaf spot.

    In fact, you just need to spray some neem oil onto your plants and you will see results quickly.

    If you are not fully satisfied with the results, repeat the process until leaf spot will no longer be an issue in your garden.

    Also Check: How To Properly Mow Your Lawn

    What Causes Brown Patch Leaf Spot Dollar Spot Rust And Fairy Ring

    Lawn fungal diseases may take on different forms from rust to brown patches and visible dark spots. Once deep in the ground, fungal infections can be tough to treat.

    In most cases, the wrong conditions can cause fungus to thrive in your lawn, causing severe consequences. Here are some of the most common causes of each common lawn disease.

    Brown Patch

    It is caused by Rhizoctonia solani, which thrives when your turf receives excessive water and fertilizer. Brown patch is typical to show in late summer or early spring when the temperatures are going down, and the lawn can keep more of the nutrients, but homeowners keep watering and fertilizing anyway.

    Leaf Spot

    It would be best to keep an eye for small lesions when the temperatures vary between 77 and 86 degrees during the day and above 65 degrees at night. It is most common to show up during the humid and rainy season because the fungus creates spores that are easily spread by rainfall and mowing.

    Dollar Spot

    It thrives in wet, humid, and nitrogen-rich soil. Dollar Spot can also be spread to the entire lawn by disposing infected grass clippings on green, healthy turf.


    The reason for having rust in your lawn is dust caused by a fungus. The dust discolors your lawn and spreads with the wind. Your pets or children can also spread it when walking through the yard.

    Fairy Ring

    Dollar Spot And Leaf Spot

    May 15, 2015

    Over the last week, dollar spot and leaf spot have popped up across the state of Iowa.

    Dollar spot is usually considered an early to mid-summer disease and seems to be about a month ahead of last year. It is caused by the fungal organism Sclerotinia homoeocarpa. Most of the damage I have seen this spring has occurred on bentgrass greens, tees, and fairways. The symptoms of dollar spot on close mown turf are small, tan-colored spot equal to or smaller than 2.5 inches across. The name of Dollar Spot comes from the silver dollar-sized turf damage. Spots can be numerous and coalesce, making identification difficult. Dollar spot is most notable on nitrogen deficient turf. By increasing fertility, you can reduce future outbreaks. Dollar spot can spread by movement of mowers, equipment, water, wind, and people. It has a very wide range of activity. It is most active in temperatures between 60-90 degrees but can occur as long as nights are over 50 degrees . The wet weather/ and high humidity have created an ideal situation for early season dollar spot.

    Pictures courtesy of Cody Freeman Green King Turf

    Leaf spot is an Ascomycete fungi caused by Bipolaris spp. and/or Dreschslera spp. Cool, wet weather favors the disease. Leaf spot affects all turfgrass species used in the state of Iowa. A majority of the damage recorded so far has been on Kentucky bluegrass lawns and golf course roughs. It can also hit bentgrass, fine and tall fescue, and ryegrass.

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    Identify Leaf Spot Lawn Disease

    Leaf spot or melting out disease takes the form of brown or black spots on grass blades. During infestation, these spots widen and develop a tan center. After the root dies off at its base, it undergoes what’s known as an “out melt” phase before drying up completely in order to release any surviving pests from inside of it!

    Leaf spot is a serious lawn disease that can make your grass look terrible. It initially resembles drought or insect damage and it’s difficult to tell the difference because of its random patterning, but this makes identification all-the more important! Leaf spots are most active in summer on bluegrasses when theyre growing fastest – which means these areas will have higher populations than fall/spring time… unless something happens like rain storms where everyone gets wet at once again..

    The melting out phase occurs when roots rot from an infection spreading through soil pores into them crowns start turning brown too as sunlight promotes deeper shades within those colors.

    How To Treat Dollar Spot Lawn Disease

    Fighting Leaf Spot Disease | HOW To Treat Lawn Fungus With Fungicide

    Dollar spot thrives in wet, humid conditions, so heavy dew, over-watering, late-day irrigation, and anything else that keeps grass leaves wet for long periods of time could lead to dollar spot. When watering, you want to water deeply but infrequently, and water in the early morning so the leaves wont stay too moist for too long.

    You also could be mowing too closely! Because they hold moisture on grass leaves, short lawns are more susceptible to dollar spot infection. The easy fix for preventing this is simply by adjusting your cutting height. Raise your mower blade to the recommended 3 to 4 inches. The exception is zoysia grass, which can be cut a little shorter . Never cut more than one-third of your lawns grass length at a time, no matter how tall it gets.

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    When Does It Occur

    The fungi that cause leaf spot stay dormant through the winter, surviving as spores and fungus strands on your turf. When the moist rain and dew of spring arrive, the fungus starts to grow as its spores are spread throughout the lawn by wind and water.

    Summers hot, dry temperatures bring about the second part of this lawn disease: the melting-out phase.

    Lawn Care Tips What Causes Dollar Spot And How To Control It From Overcoming Your Lawn

    Infection by dollar spot appears as tan or straw-colored spots ranging in size from a quarter to that of a silver dollar sunken in the turf , which is how it gets its name. Occasionally, small cottony strings of the fungus can be seen growing from the diseased leaf blades. The fungus can spread if you walk on it and then walk to another part of your lawn, making dollar spot a serious problem if left untreated. Dollar spot can be more serious than it may first appear because the lawn disease kills the entire grass plant, often requiring reseeding.

    Causes of Dollar Spot

    • Poor Watering If you are not watering correctly, you may be weakening your thatch and creating a lovely breeding ground for dollar spot. If you water too much and the water does not go deep enough, it ends up creating an environment where the lawn is wet but the soil and the roots of the grass are dry. Dollar spot thrives in this type of setting.
    • Grass Health Grass health is also an important part of improving dollar spot. Keeping your lawn in tiptop shape by watering it adequately, fertilizing it, and making sure it is kept at the proper height will keep your grass healthy, and healthy grass is much less prone to lawn diseases like dollar spot.
    • Grass Type While a bit more difficult to cure, some types of grass are more prone to dollar spot than others. So if your area has been extremely prone to dollar spot it may be worth considering a different type of grass that is more resistant to the disease.

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