You invest a lot of time and money to keep a nice lawn and when you discover you have dead spots in your lawn it’s frustrating. The dead spots are probably caused by grass fungus. The best thing to do is to not leave it fester. Early detection and action is essential to stopping the spread of fungal disease.
Several Things That Could Potentially Result In Lawn Fungal Disease
- Over fertilizing or using the wrong fertilizer
- Improper mowing techniques
- Compacted soil
- Weather conditions
- Wrong grass type for your region
Before you attempt to treat the fungus, you will need to identify what type of fungus it is. Green & Grow has put together this quick guide on the most common fungi to help you determine which fungus is causing a problem in your lawn.
If You See Dead Spots Or Patches, It Might Be…
- Large Patch (Previously Referred To As A Brown Patch): Signs of large patch present themselves as circular patches of brown, lifeless grass. The patches will usually join together as they expand, reaching diameters of six feet or more. A dark, grayish-black ring of wilted grass is usually found around the perimeter of the diseased areas early in the morning.
- Dollar Spot: Symptoms of dollar spot will include small, circular areas of straw-colored grass, with visible lesions on the grass blades. Areas of dollar spot are up to six inches across and they may grow together to create a large, irregular shaped area. A white, spider web-like growth may cover the infected area and be most visible early in the morning, especially on days when there is a morning dew.
If You Notice Rings Or Circles Of Discolored Grass, The Following Could Be To Blame…
- Fairy Ring: Signs of fairy ring could include dark green rings with light green centers, in some cases, mushrooms will sprout up around the outer edges. The mushrooms are not to blame for the fungus, instead they are a physical representation of what is going on beneath the surface. The fungus underground is killing the organic matter in the soil, and given that mushrooms live off of decaying matter, they are thriving and showing up in your yard. While the grass within the ring might look healthy, it could later collapse and die.
Necrotic Ring Spot (Cold Weather) or Summer Patch (Warm Weather): Symptoms include circular patches of green lawn surrounded by a ring of dead or dying grass, sometimes called ‘frog eye patch.’ The frog-eyes may range in size from several inches to feet in diameter.
What Can You Do?
If you haven’t had a wet spring or summer heat wave, then changes made in your lawn care routine could be enough to prevent or eliminate fungal grass disease.
Here are a few things you can try…
- Mowing: Keep the blades on your mower sharp and set your deck to the appropriate height to ensure that you do not cut your lawn too short. Mowing your lawn too low will make it more susceptible to disease. Be sure to hose down the underside of your mower after each use to prevent the spread of fungus.
- Aerate & Dethatch: We recommend aerating your lawn each year to help loosen the soil and prevent thick buildups of thatch. This allows your soil to breathe.
- Watering: Water your lawn in the early morning hours to give your grass blades time to dry throughout the day. Water deeply, but not as frequently, to promote strong roots and to give the water the opportunity to absorb properly.
- Fertilizing: Under or over fertilizing may encourage the growth of some fungal disease so be sure to choose the right fertilizer for your specific grass type and apply it as instructed on the package. Avoid excess nitrogen, although it can make your lawn appear green in a jiffy, it does not offer a strong defense against funguses that love nitrogen.
About Green & Grow
Green & Grow is a full-service lawn care company specializing in fertilization & weed control, aeration & seeding, insect control, and more!