Fungal diseases are insidious problems for the average green lawn. They can seemingly come out of nowhere, then quickly spread throughout a lawn, making it weak and causing plenty of problems. Unlike pests or soil problems, you may not even notice a fungus until it's already dug deep into your lawn. Here's how to spot them, why they're bad, and what to do about lawn fungus if you're worried!
Identifying Fungal Diseases
A fungus doesn't make itself known by a sudden die-off of grass. Instead, you have to look closer at the lawn for any sort of discoloration. You may notice white, yellow, or brown patches in the lawn, especially patches that seem to be growing. While the fungus itself may be too small to easily noticed, you may instead notice patches of grass that seem weaker, sparse or frayed. This is a sign to look closer for any fungus problems. The fungus may look like spots on the grass blades (these can come in a variety of colors, including black, pink, orange, and purple), or filaments growing up around the grass. Bad fungus problems usually leave grass looking slimy as well. You are most likely to notice fungus problems when you are mowing, so keep an eye on the grass!
Why Fungus Problems Happen
The biggest cause of lawn fungus is water – specifically, some fungi love drought conditions while some love overwatering. You may be giving your lawn too much or too little water. In temperate climates, you may also find that water doesn't evaporate quickly enough in the shade, which can create fungus issues over time. Sloped lawns may also have spots where water trickles down and gathers, another hot spot for fungus issues. Other common causes of fungus include compact soil that can't breathe properly (traps water more easily), too much fertilizer, or cutting the lawn too close to the ground. Some grasses may be more vulnerable to fungus than others.
When to Be Wary of Fungus Problems
Spring and summer are popular times for fungus issues. In spring, lawns can easily be overwatered in the humid weather, while drought can strike in summer. The transition from summer to fall, when there's often cool dew on the ground, can also encourage the growth of this disease.
Think You Have a Fungus Issue? There's a Lot You Can Do!
If you spot a fungus issue, the good news is that there are a lot of different things you can do to fix it and discourage fungus from coming back! A soil test can help you see what kind of fertilizer you need to use while dethatching and aerating can make it hard for the fungus to take hold. Even changing the times that you water or switching to a different mowing practice can make a big difference over time!
Does your lawn need some special care or renewed growth? Our unique lawn treatment program can help! Contact us at Meyers Green Services to learn more.