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Is Fungus Among Us?

Lawn Disease
4 min read

Remember George and Yortuk Festrunk?  You know, Steve Martin (George) and Dan Akroyd (Yortuk), those “wild and crazy” guys and their classic skit from Saturday Night Live!  Imagine these guys sauntering around their yards, evaluating their lawns, this year we have seen it all, a lot of “wild and crazy” things happening.

Recently I have heard reports of snow mold damage on lawns.  How can that be, it was almost 90 degrees and humid around the first day of summer? Due to the extreme winter snow cover snow mold affected a lot of lawns.  The best way to curb this is to fertilize the lawn in early spring.  Choose March as the month to fertilize and “grow-out” this problem.  If this feeding is missed or put down too late the grass roots never have a chance to avoid fungus damage.  Many lawns in June suffered and might need re-seeding because of this “wild and crazy” phenomenon.

What about crabgrass?  By the time you read this there will be crabgrass in lawns.  The springs cool-wet weather coupled with the drought in May allowed crabgrass to take hold as lawns shut down.  Delay putting down your first crabgrass preventer until later in the spring, say early May.  Put down a second preventative treatment in early June of Veri-Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Fertilizer to extend the crabgrass window of control throughout the summer months.  The smart ones treated only sunny areas of their lawn since crabgrass does not grow in the shade and they had to be using Veri-Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Fertilizer for this to work properly.  Folks that had crabgrass problems in the past who followed this plan had great success with crabgrass control.  I know, it’s a “wild and crazy” idea but it works.

May was dry and June was wetter than usual.  Grubs need a certain amount of moisture to reproduce so we’ll see if grubs are in abundance this August when you read this article.  Grubs may show their presence when skunks dig in your lawn looking for food.  Grubs chew on grass roots eventually killing the plant.  However, a healthy growing lawn can withstand about 10 grubs per square foot, that’s a lot of grubs!  If I had that many I would want to treat them to get rid of them to avoid a complete loss of my lawn.  You can apply Grub and Insect Control in early August with some success or trichlorphon products in mid-to late August if grubs are going “wild and crazy” eating on your lawn roots.

Is fungus among us?  Summertime is when many lawns fungi are active.  Certain agronomic factors have to be present for fungus to develop including a plant host, an infectious pathogen and suitable environmental conditions for the pathogen to infect and grow including some level of moisture.  Common summer lawn diseases include summer patch, brown patch and dollar spot.  You can manage these diseases with proper cultural practices in your lawn care program including a balanced fertilizer program, proper watering and mowing. Do not do anything to excess, water deeply and infrequently, set your mower cutting height high and apply a light feeding, preferable with an organic lawn fertilizer such as Black Beauty Organic Lawn Fertilizer during summer months.  If necessary, Lawn Fungus Control is available to treat and control many lawn diseases.

If you prefer not to follow these “wild and crazy” steps in August and choose to go to the beach that’s okay.  Instead, think about what you may need to do in early fall which is a great time to renovate your lawn.  I admit, I had a similar pair of tight checkered pants like George and Yortuk that I wore in high school; however, I did not unbutton my polyester shirt to my waist or wear any gold chains.  I was a ‘wild and crazy” guy too.  You rock George and Yortuk!

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