Lawn Disease: The Usual Suspects

Lawns have several enemies that seek to prevent you from having that beautiful green carpet of turf that you’re looking for. Fungal disease is an enemy that your lawn will most likely encounter in some form or fashion. While disease damage can be ugly, it’s no reason to panic.

Fungal lawn disease arises from a variety of different fungi that are enabled by favorable conditions. Typically, fungi thrive in turf that experiences extended periods of moisture with hot daytime temperatures and milder evenings.

Brown patch, dollar spot, and pythium blight are all turf diseases that appear as areas of discolored turf of various sizes and shapes. Depending on the severity, these diseases can overtake large portions of your lawn. Fairy rings pop up as an underground network of mushroom fungi span out, creating circles of dark grass that are often filled with mushrooms. When leaf spot infects your turf, it presents as dark spots that can spread throughout the entire blade until the turf “melts” away.

These diseases sound pretty bad! Extreme cases can cause lasting damage, but most of the time, they don’t. Sometimes fungicides will be necessary, but very often, your lawn will rebound nicely once conditions are no longer conducive to fungal growth. As with most turf problems, proper mowing, watering, and fertilization practices are your best friends when it comes to preventing lawn disease.

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