Does your lawn have a fungus?
You can tell if there are cottony patches in the morning, a ring with mushrooms growing in a circle, or dead, brown patches of turf.
Fortunately, you can control lawn fungus from growing in your yard with some cultural changes in how you care for your lawn. Most turf diseases happen because of too much water, scalping your grass, and applying too much nitrogen to the soil.
Once you change your lawn maintenance habits, you’ll notice your lawn will start to heal. However, most lawn care experts don’t recommend fungicides unless your yard has a severe case of fungi.
What Lawn Fungal Diseases Affect Branson, MO Yards?
Lawn diseases include many different fungi that damage and even kill your yard. Five infamous lawn diseases that pop up in your Springfield turf include
⦁ Brown patch: If you notice circular patches in your yard that increase in size with water-soaked rings, and live grass growing in the middle that looks like a frog’s eye, your turf may have brown patch.
Brown patch occurs in hot, humid weather when nighttime temperatures reach 65ºF or above. The soil is wet, and the grass stays moist throughout the day. The ground may also have high levels of nitrogen.
You can fix the brown batch problem by cutting back on your watering and decreasing the amount of nitrogen you’re putting on your turfgrass.
⦁ Dollar spot: Named for the silver dollar, dollar spot shows up as hour-glass, tan-colored patches in your yard. Dollar spot can affect all types of grasses, cold- and warm-season.
Dollar spot develops when a lawn has heavy thatch, and the grass stays wet.
Fix your yard by dethatching or aerating it to remove excess thatch. Also, reduce your watering, so your turf dries out. Finally, give your soil a test to see what nutrients are missing.
⦁ Pythium blight: This disease thrives in hot, humid weather and is spread by dragging garden hoses or mowing your lawn. It’s also caused by poor ⦁ yard drainage and acidic soil (high pH).
Pythium blight looks like greasy, water-logged spots on your turf. Cotton-like mycelium covers the grass, which eventually turns brown and dies.
Correct your yard’s water drainage problem, and aerate the soil to relieve compaction. Also, if your turf has Pythium blight and is in the shade, cut back the trees to allow for more air circulation. Finally, stop irrigation and mowing to slow down the disease.
⦁ Red thread: Your turf has red thread if there are pink to red circular threads intertwined in it.
Red thread occurs most times in lawns that have Kentucky blue, bentgrass, or Bermuda grass. The grass blade tips turn tan, gray, or bleach white as the disease progresses, eventually killing the turf.
Red thread likes cool, moist weather and lawns grown in poor soils. You can relieve your yard of red thread disease by increasing fertilization that’s heavy in nitrogen and potassium. Also, water your lawn deeply and infrequently.
⦁ Rust: If your grass looks like the blades are coated in rust-colored or bright orange dust with spores sprinkled in, then your lawn may have rust disease. Rust affects slow-growing turf in moist, shady areas.
Rust attacks Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and Zoysiagrass, or any stressed turf. This fungus also thrives in hot, dry weather.
Correct rust disease by providing adequate amounts of nitrogen and minimizing how long your grass stays wet. For example, you can run your mower with blades set high and the bar down or drag a garden hose across your turf to dry it out.
Also, prune trees and shrubs, so more air circulation goes through the turfgrass, helping it dry completely.
Consider raising your mower blades and cut your grass more often, so your lawn outgrows the rust.
How to Prevent Fungal Diseases from Developing on Your Kimberling City Lawn
While you can’t control how hot, dry, or humid your summer will be, there are cultural management practices that you can adopt to reduce the risk or prevent lawn diseases from developing.
Here are five lawn maintenance tips for you to employ on your AR or MO turfgrass:
1. Raise the blades on your lawn mower and keep them sharp. Scalping your lawn with dull blades opens up the grass plants to injury and disease. Plus, mowing your turf too often weakens it and makes it susceptible to fungi.
2. Install an outdoor sprinkler system or add soaker hoses with a timer. You can regulate how often and when your sprinkler system turns off and on. And the timer on soaker hoses will shut off the water after a specific time has passed.
Avoid the daily sprinkles from your garden hose or an above-ground sprinkler. Shallow watering won’t percolate deep into the soil, and you risk overwatering your lawn.
3. Aerate your lawn every year or two. An aerator takes plugs of soil out of the ground so it can breathe. Also, fertilizer, soil amendments, and water can penetrate deep underground.
4. Fertilize your lawn with the right product at the right time. You should first test your soil to see what nutrients are missing and see how acidic it is.
After you get your test results back, follow the directions for adding the right amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous that your turf needs to grow. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the back of the fertilizer bag.
If you have questions about the correct type of fertilizer, call your county extension or visit your local independent garden center for an expert to help you.
5. Did you plant the right grass seed at the right spot on your property? There are two types of grasses, warm-season, and cool-season. While you may use cool-season grass, like tall fescue in the shade, you need to plant a sun-loving cool-season grass or warm-season grass in full sun.
Wouldn’t You Rather Have Zanescapes Handle Lawn Fungus Diseases?
If the above jobs seem like one endless chore, book us today at Zanescapes Tree and Yard to aerate your lawn or maintain your outdoor irrigation system.
We provide some lawn care services. If you have questions about healthy turf or fungal disease, don’t hesitate to ask us.
If you live in Branson or Springfield, MO, or Harrison, AR, you need to call Zanescapes Tree and Yard at 417-332-2333.
Branson, MO homeowners, and property managers know that Zanescapes does quality work and will take care of your lawn and landscaping with expertise. Contact Zanescapes today by calling 417-332-2333 or filling out our contact form.
Zanescapes Tree and Yard serves the following service areas: Blue Eye, Branson, Kimberling City, Nixa, Ozark, and Springfield in Missouri and Harrison, AR
LandscapeProfessionals.org, “Technically Speaking: Common Lawn Diseases to Watch Out For.”
MissouriBotanicalGarden.org, “Fungal Diseases of Lawns.”
TodaysHomeowner.com, “How to Deal with Grass Fungal Diseases in Your Lawn.”