Posted on: March 19, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 0

People and animals aren’t the only living organisms vulnerable to fungi as these single-celled organisms attack even the healthiest of flora as well. If mushrooms, mildew and discolored patches start appearing in your garden, it is probably infected with fungus. It becomes a big problem if you fail to give your lawn the proper care and attention it needs.

Lawn fungus is caused by different environmental conditions. Similar to its anthropogenic version, lawn fungus is difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat accurately. To determine a cure for this botanical plague, it is necessary to identify the kind of fungus you are dealing with. Here are some common fungi that feed off chlorophyll producers, including a short description of each.

  • Brown patch. This discolored disease is often found on Ryegrass, tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. It is characterized by leaves with tan edges, while the brown patches are six to 20 inches in diameter.
  • Dollar spot. The blades of grass with dollar spots produce straw-colored lesions with reddish-brown borders. These silver colored blemishes develop in humid areas where soil moisture is low. They are common on unfertilized lawns and high maintenance landscapes.
  • Leaf spot. This fungus is most destructive in spring and fall, when the weather is cold and wet. Leaf spots cause healthy vegetation to turn dark brown, purplish and purplish red before fading to light brown color.
  • Pythium blight. This malady is perfectly capable of infesting all lawns that flourish during the cool season. The spots transform from greasy to slimy throughout the day before finally dying.
  • Fairy ring. The circles formed by this fungus seem to be harmless at first, but when they start expanding, they produce tons of mushrooms and become problematic. The ring diameter may reach up to 60 feet and some of the mushrooms that germinate in the area are poisonous.

These are just five of the most widespread garden banes. Other harmful floral fungus worth mentioning, include the summer patch, powdery mildew, strip smut, red thread, slime molds, moss and algae. With all these destructive forces lurking in the shadows, gardening can be a draining hobby or activity to maintain. However, it is still possible to overcome all these nasty pests, even if you don’t have a green thumb.

Prevention Is Cure

You’ve probably heard this phrase many times for good reason. By suppressing fungus from growing, you have already won half the battle. If you allow fungus to develop in your yard, not only are you forced to get rid of them, but you will also need to repair your prized plants as well.

  • Grass clippings. Recycling your dead grass clippings is good for the environment, but bad for your lawn because they are easy targets for lawn fungus. These sliced off grass residues heavily attract fungus spores that spread their abomination everywhere. Instead of leaving them in your yard, bag your clippings and make sure the garbage truck picks them up.
  • Night watering. Busy individuals who see gardening as a relaxing hobby usually water their lawns immediately after returning home from work in the evening. This practice doesn’t give the grass enough time to dry off completely. Since lawn fungus loves moist environments, they will immediately attack your lawn and grow at a rapid pace. Next time, water your grass very early in the morning and make sure you don’t flood your garden. It is also a good idea to create a drainage system for your botanical tract to prevent standing water and lawn fungus.
  • Fervent fertilization. Although fertilizers provide essential nutrients for your grass, applying too much would encourage fungi to develop because they too use those compounds to grow. Avoid dispersing too much fertilizer in the late fall or winter to prevent snow mold and brown patch fungus from sprouting.
  • Too thick. A thick lawn looks good occasionally, but doing so increases humidity and periods of wetness that attracts lawn fungus. Additionally, a thick bush makes it easier for the plague to reach other areas of the lawn.
  • Acid test. Another frequent cause of lawn fungus is low pH levels. Test your soil to determine how much phosphorous and potassium fertilizer you need to normalize your garden’s pH level. If the area is too acidic or below 6.0, fungicides won’t work. If the test reveals that you don’t need additional phosphorous or potassium, use nitrogen fertilizers instead.

Mow Than Words

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy lawn is by mowing it properly. It may be very time consuming and stressful, but the rewards are worth it. Finding the right height is tricky, but be guided by the one-third rule. For instance, if you want to maintain a two-inch lawn, start slicing and dicing when it reaches a height of three inches.

Short lawns have small root systems, which are more vulnerable to drought, insects and invasive weeds. Additionally, they require more frequent fertilization. On the other hand, grass that is too tall is harder to mow and attracts weeds at the same time. Additionally, their slashed leftovers block the nutrients from coming in, making them vulnerable to diseases and fungi.

Before finally starting this chore, be certain that the blades of your lawnmower are sharp and ready. Dull blades tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, causing more water loss that lures fungus like moth to a flame.

Professional Help

Just like your typical anthropomorphic disease, seek a professional in case the situation gets out of hand. Particularly in developed countries, the lawn care business is one of the fastest growing trades today. For a small fee, you can get a great garden and learn tips on how to manage it the right way.

Lawn fungus isn’t a major problem if you know the ABC’s in proper lawn care. Anyway, you shouldn’t start a garden if you don’t have a clue about the botanical world. Better start another hobby like kite flying or collecting pens instead.

Click here for more information on how to get rid of lawn fungus.

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