Wednesday, April 6, 2011
In past years lawns have suffered from fungus (disease) in your lawn. The spores of these parasitic forms of plant life are spread by wind, air, water, animals, people, insects and mowing. If a landscaper cuts your lawn he could transfer the disease from one property to another. Ideal disease conditions generally occur between the months of May through September.
It is important to understand and properly identify if fungus is really present in your lawn. Sometimes during hot summer months, fungus can be misidentified as heat and drought stress or insect damage. Do not waste your money with a control application if you are not sure disease is present in your lawn.
There are about 10 major lawn diseases, which can in your area. Let’s explore some of the most popular ones. Leaf Spot (melting-out) usually occurs as a spring and fall disease not during the summer. It affects most cool season grasses including kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and bent grass. It appears in home lawns when temperatures are between 55-75 degrees. The leaf of the grass plant when examined closely looks like it may have been burned by a match with purplish-brown spots around the edges. There are some fungicides that can control Leaf Spot such as chlorothalonil and azoxystrobin. However, these products are not easily found for general homeowner use. Practical controls include, raising your mowing height and mow frequently; avoid light frequent watering and avoid excessive nitrogen.
Brown Patch can affect all turf grasses. Triggered by warm, humid nights, we see Brown Patch occurring during summer months. If there is moisture on the grass blades and humidity keeps the air still an ideal situation is created. Brown Patch exhibits the look of a smoke ring of dark-gray color. The disease starts in small patches but can grow in size quickly. Grass blades change from a water soaked purplish-green color to dark brown and then dry to a pale light brown. Control Brown Patch with Jonathan Green’s Lawn Fungus Control. Practical controls include, avoiding high nitrogen fertilizers and increase air circulation and sunlight.
Dollar spot got its name from its familiar ‘silver dollar’ size brown spots. The bleached straw-like spots often have a reddish-brown border. Mowers and foot traffic often spread Dollar Spot. Temperatures must be between 60 to 90 degrees during dry seasons, but some moisture must be present for it to thrive. Apply Jonathan Green’s Lawn Fungus Control. Dollar Spot occurs if turf grass is suffering from a lack of fertilizer nutrients. Proper feeding and watering will help to reduce the need for a fungicide treatment.
The best way to prevent diseases in your lawn is to buy quality Jonathan Green grass seed mixtures that have performance characteristics and those that contain endophytes. Grass seed mixtures with “common-type” varieties are a prescription for disaster. Also, follow a balanced fertilizing program through the year, like Jonathan Green’s Annual Lawn Care Program, using better quality products that contain some controlled-release nitrogen. Do not mow your grass too low, in fact; raise your mowing height slightly during summer months to give more leaf tissue for the grass to survive heat and drought stress. Follow a proper watering schedule, approximately one inch per week, not 15 minutes everyday with the hose or sprinkler system. Do not water during the nighttime hours. The grass blades need to dry out during daylight hours to prevent the spread of disease.
There are some websites, which can help you identify certain diseases. By the process of elimination you can better pinpoint what disease may be present in your lawn for more accurate diagnose.
Please follow all label directions and contact your local garden center or hardware store or extension agent if you have certain questions about fungus in your area.Back