All lawn fungus problems are annoying because of how they discolor and weaken your grass. However, "lawn rust" is one of the worst fungus attacks, and also one of the most common. This disease likes to strike at hot, dry lawns and can spread quickly. Here's what you need to know.
What is Lawn Rust?
Lawn rust is a fungus that grows directly on the grass. The name is very descriptive — it looks like patches of rust spreading on the grass blades. However, because this is a small, dusty sort of fungus, you may have to get close to see it. Lawn fungus will rub off in your fingers like a dusty coating. You may get an earlier clue if you find that your shoes are edged in a pollen-like fringe after walking on your lawn.
The Dangers of Lawn Rust
Lawn rust will not kill your lawn. In most cases, grass can make a successful recovery. The fungus lives on the grass, but it doesn't devour your lawn. However, a bad lawn rust problem will block the grass blades from absorbing as much sunlight as they need. As a result, your grass may start looking weak and frayed, and it will grow more slowly. Grass in this state can be killed more easily from outside damage, and may not be able to recover as easily from outdoor play and other activities.
How to Prevent Lawn Rust
Fertilize your lawn to keep your grass healthy and able to fight against lawn rust — but don't overfertilize for your grass species, or you could encourage fungus instead (they tend to be particularly fond of nitrogen). Don't let your grass grow too long, either. Lawn rust struggles to grow when there's plenty of air and light around. If you've had problems with this fungus in the past, make sure you are watering in the morning instead of the evening, so that the water on the surface evaporates more quickly instead of encouraging fungus growth.
Dealing with a Lawn Rust Problem
If you head down to the department store and take a look, you can find a variety of fungicides that are created to help deal with fungus problems. However, we suggest you wait before buying a fungicide. You can fix most cases of lawn fungus without resorting to these fungicides, which may have side effects for your yard.
Instead, practice the prevention techniques that we mentioned, and work to keep your lawn well lit so that the fungus stops growing. Start mowing more frequently to get rid of the fungus that's already present before it can spread further. Clean up leaves and other debris on your lawn ASAP. And don't worry — lawn rust isn't dangerous for pets or kids.
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.