How Do I Know If My Lawn Has Fungus
Some of the more common symptoms of fungal infection on your lawn include spots of discolored grass, frayed grass blades, and circular patterns of dead or dying grass.
Once you diagnose these as lawn fungus, they can be easily treated with a fungicide made specifically for grass conditions.
How To Get Rid Of Lawn Fungus Naturally
Once a fungus infests your lawn, it will quickly spread, making it daunting to control. Chemical treatments like fungicides might help eradicate the disease. However, they also create problems like soil pH imbalance, when administered incorrectly. Going natural is not only cost-effective but also promotes healthy grass that can recuperate faster should a fungus infestation occur in the future.
Here are natural ways to treat lawn fungus:
What Causes Lawn Fungus
You might feel like lawn fungus is happening beyond your control, but there are things that you might be doing which could be the reason for your lawn being less than healthy. Here are common causes of lawn fungus.
- Drought. If your grass is overwhelmed with dry, hot conditions, this can cause fungus to sprout.
- Mowing incorrectly. If you mow your grass too low, this can make it more susceptible to diseases and fungi.
- Applying fertilizer incorrectly. Putting too much and too little fertilizer can both be hazardous for your lawn health.
- Overwatering. Although drought is damaging to a lawn if youre giving your grass too much water can also weaken it.
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Preventing Lawn Disease And Fungus
The best way to deal with lawn disease and fungus is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Often, issues arise due to the way homeowners care for their lawns. Even some well-intentioned habits can cause problems, and making changes can prevent disease or keep it from causing permanent or widespread damage.
Some of the best methods of lawn fungus control to keep disease away include:
- Watering properly. Overwatering can cause mold, mildew and yard fungus to form. Once your grass is established, water deeply but less frequently. Your grass only needs about an inch of water per week. Water early in the day so grass will dry in the sun wet grass is more susceptible to fungus.
- Mow regularly, but dont cut the blades too short. Grass that is too short is more hospitable to disease. Keep your blades sharp so they cut without damage.
- Clean up debris from your yard. Leaving piles of leaves, branches and other debris creates the ideal breeding ground for fungus.
- Improve drainage. If you have low-lying areas or spots that dont drain well, fix them so that water doesnt pool and cause problems.
- Test the soil. Sometimes the problem is due to the nutrient balance in the soil, and changing or adjusting how you feed can solve it.
- Prevent spread by cleaning tools. Clean all of your lawn tools, including mower blades, rakes and shovels with a mixture of water and bleach to kill any spores that could be hiding there, waiting to cause a problem.
Could The Disease Actually Be A Pest Infestation
Many lawn diseases present in a similar way to pest infestations. For example, dollar spot looks similar to a chafer grub infestation. Read more about chafer grubs and eradicating them from your lawn soil.
Alternatively, dollar spot could be a leatherjacket infestation. Find out more about leatherjackets here.
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How To Prevent Fungus
Water early in the day
Watering early in the day will allow your lawn to absorb the water and then dry off throughout the day. Watering late in the day or in the evening does not allow the lawn to dry and will promote fungus. Because fungus moves through water, a wet lawn will allow fungus to spread much faster.
Sharpen mower blades
It is always important to mow with sharp mower blades, but especially so when trying to prevent fungus. A dull blade can shred the grass blades leaving many openings for disease to enter.
Raise mowing height
When mowing, do not remove more than of the grass blade. This will allow the grass to stay healthy and strong. Scalping the lawn stresses the root system.
Dont over or under fertilize
Use high nitrogen fertilizer only in the spring. High nitrogen in late October/November will promote snow mold next year. When lawns have the right nutrients they need to grow, they are less susceptible to disease. Diseases such as red thread can often be controlled by adding nitrogen to your lawn.
Thatch is a layer of organic matter between the crown of the grass plants and the soil layer. Thatch can appear as a result of an imbalance in your soil or improper lawn maintenance practices.
We recommend removing thatch in the fall. Thatching brings up weed seeds and these are more prevalent in the spring. Use a heavy rake or thatching machine as needed to keep thatch to a minimum. The regular use of organics will help to keep thatch in order.
How To Treat Lawn Fungus
Choose the Correct Product
Some lawn fungicides are broad spectrum, meaning they can control the spread of many diseases while others are narrow spectrum, meaning they only affect a few disease.
Choosing the right product is where disease identification is important. Using the wrong product for a disease that was misidentified may have no effect on the disease at all.
Carefully read the product label to make sure you are choosing the right fungicide for your needs.
Lawn Fungus can be tricky to cure and may need more than one application of fungicide. Most fungicides can be reapplied every 14 28 days, but be sure to read the product label.
If you apply the same fungicide many times, your lawn can build up a resistance to the active ingredients. Due to this resistance, fungus may appear in your lawn even if you put down a preventative treatment.
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Some Signs Of Nrs Fungus
- Brown spots that feel like healthy grass
- Ring-shaped brown spots which may appear light-green in spring
- Ring-shaped depressions in the soil
- The grass is easy to pull up
- Fungal hyphae visible on roots
Use A Natural Fungicide To Kill Fungus In Grass
You can also use natural fungicide instead of a commercial product. Natural treatments include:
- Baking soda and water
- Neem oil
- Compost tea
Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and 5 litres of water. Spray the solution on your lawn every three days until the fungus dies.
Neem oil is also an effective fungicide. Mix four tablespoons of neem oil with 5 litres of water. Spray every few days until the problem is gone.
To use compost tea, use four cups of tea per gallon of water. Compost tea is made from tap water combined with a few cups of organic compost.
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Water Your Lawn In The Morning
Does Mowing Spread Fungus
While mowing, fungus can stick to the mower blades and it can spread it all over your lawn from an infected area. It is the reason why professional gardeners and lawn owners do not recommend mowing a fungi-infested lawn. So, make sure that you clean the underside of the lawn mower on every use and set a proper mowing height for your yard to avoid spreading the fungus from one place to another.
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How To Get Rid Of Brown Patch Fungus
After assessing the brown patch disease on your lawn, you might decide its time for treatment. If you want to get rid of these unsightly patches for good, these are the steps to take:
- As soon as you see any brown patches arrive, apply your chosen fungicide to them. This will usually be in the warmer months, like mid to late summer, and should be treated immediately.
- Reseed over the dead grass patches with a grass species that are more resilient to fungus. This can take a year or two to work and will need to be over a few fall seasons.
- If you want to start fresh, remove the old turf and reseed it with your chosen grass species. Commit to a schedule of growing the grass, including daily watering and grass rolling.
How To Tell If Your Lawn Has Fungus
The most important step when you spot fungus or another problem on your lawn is to correctly identify the specific type of disease thats present. Different lawn issues have different causes and symptoms, and treating your grass for the wrong thing could only lead to more damage not to mention, youll still have to deal with the original issues. Before you invest in a treatment, therefore, take the time to closely examine the issue or better yet, get a professional to identify the disease so you know exactly what youre dealing with and choose the right treatment the first time.
There are a number of signs to watch out for that indicate a problem with your lawn, and some of them are more obvious than others. In most cases, discoloration is the most obvious sign, as grass will turn yellow, tan, or brown in spots. Keep in mind, though that its not always a disease that can cause this. Higher than normal temperatures, inadequate watering, and insects can also cause dead or dying areas, only underscoring the need for adequate identification.
Assuming that everything else is normal, discoloration is just one sign that your lawn is sick. Brown patches not attributable to pets, slimy patches of grass, a film covering the grass and spots on individual blades of grass are all signs of an issue. While specific fungi and lawn diseases have unique signs, some of the most common types of disease and fungus include:
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Dethatch The Lawn When Theres Need
The presence of excessive thatch, a layer of organic matter, in grass signifies soil pH imbalance or lawn care malpractices. Naturally, thatch should be only ½ an inch. Too much of it robs the grass of nutrients, sunlight, and water. Upon close examination, youll notice they sit between the soil top layer and crown of the grass. As long as microbes arent enough to eliminate organic matter, the fungus will attack the lawn.
The thatches attract weeds, particularly in spring, which is why you should plan your dethatching activity in fall. It works best using a thatching machine or gardening rake to keep them to a minimum. Alternatively, you can apply organic matter to keep them at bay.
Are Mushrooms In A Lawn Poisonous
For anyone with pets or children, the sight of fungi growing in a lawn can be worrying. Many types of mushrooms may grow in your lawn, especially where trees have been, in shaded moist areas, says David Hedges-Gower. There are too many to name, but always be aware that many are dangerous.
The safest thing to do is remove the caps and stalks, either with your lawn mower, by raking, or by hand when wearing gloves.
Another way to put your mind at rest, if dogs and children use the lawn, is to identify the mushroom and find out whether or not it is toxic. Contact a mycologist or mushroom expert ). There are also apps and websites ) that identify mushrooms via photographs.
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How To Treat Lawn Fungus Naturally
A waterlogged lawn is a conducive breeding ground for fungi. While your lawn may look lush and green, eventually, its almost inevitable, that you may need to apply natural fungal control measures, as part of your lawn care routine.
However, the success of fungi control using natural methods depends on the severity of the infestation, grass type, and your routine lawn care practices.
How To Identify Fungus On Your Lawn
Brown patches on grass are just one sign that your lawn is dealing with a fungus problem. You may also notice stringy red threads, mushrooms, and other forms of fungus and fungal diseases.
Understanding common fungal threats can help you identify the issue in your lawn. Some of the most common types of fungus and fungal diseases include:
- Red thread
- Lawn rust
Red thread, lawn rust, fusarium, and other fungal diseases can create brown, orange, or reddish-orange patches in your turf. A brown patch may also be a sign of weak grass instead of a fungal infection.
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What Are Lawn Fungus And Disease
- Lawn fungus and disease are ailments to lawns caused by pathogens that take hold on grass and can range from cosmetic damage to your lawn to grass death.
- There are a large variety of different lawn diseases and fungi which can affect a lawn. Observe your lawn closely and view the symptoms to figure out what disease is present.
Add Air To The Soil And Lawn
One of the key things to remember when learning how to get rid of lawn weeds of any kind is to ensure your grass is healthy.
For that reason, one of the simplest way to get rid of fungis visible fruit is to give your lawn some regular TLC by aerating it, says David Hedges-Gower, Chairman of The Lawn Association . Adding large quantities of oxygen into the soil will not only help the lawn roots, drainage, moss control, and more, it will also increase the number of fungi and bacteria that will fight against the fruiting fungi. Keep chemicals away as all they do is damage the soil!
If you’re unsure how to aerate a lawn, in basic terms it involves making holes in the lawn at intervals to reduce compaction and in turn boost the grass health. If using a regular long-handled garden fork, do it annually in early fall if using a hollow tine aerator, do it every 2-4 years. You can also hire machines to aerate large lawns.
This method can also be an effective solution for how to get rid of lawn moss.
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How To Treat Brown Patches In Lawn
Proper mowing, watering, and fertilising help limit the risk of fungus in grass. However, if you already have brown patches or other fungal issues, you need to address the problem to keep it from spreading.
Some fungal diseases can continue to spread until they destroy a lawn. Use the following steps to treat the problem:
- Use a fungicide to kill the fungus
- Collect grass clippings when you mow
- Avoid excess foot traffic on the lawn
- Repeat the treatments if the fungus returns
The fungal disease may not go away on its own. Apply a fungicide to kill the fungus and begin restoring the health of your grass.
How To Get Rid Of Pink Fungus And Red Thread
Healthy vigorous grass is able to withstand minor disease and insect infestations. Before you ever lay sod, make sure the pH is between 6.5 and 7.0.
Water infrequently and deeply in the morning so grass blades have time to dry quickly. Let in plenty of light to your lawn area by keeping trees and plants pruned back. Aerate and thatch to improve air circulation and water movement.
Fertilize in spring with the proper amount of nitrogen, as both pink patch on grass and red thread thrives in nitrogen poor soils.
Controlling pink fungus in lawns and other turf diseases starts with these types of good cultivation practices. Fungicides are rarely necessary except in extreme cases and are not 100% effective in all infections.
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I Have Mushrooms In My Lawn That Are In A Circle What Are These
‘These half circles of mushrooms/toadstools are known as fairy rings or pixie rings,’ says Amateur Gardening expert John Negus. ‘They can be complete circles or arcs and are caused by fungus that feeds on the roots of grass causing browning. There may be lush green growth adjacent to the brown arcs or circles. The fungi is hidden below ground for most of the year, with the toadstools or mushrooms appearing in late summer and into fall. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to eradicate fairy rings and there are no chemical methods available.
‘To control Fairy ring fungus efficiently, dig out the affected dead grass to 3ft deep and 1ft 6in on either side of the ring. Then replace “spoil” with uncontaminated soil and then reseed or re-turf. This is a big job, with no guarantee of eradication, as the roots may have spread beyond the dead circle.’ If this is the route you choose to go down, there are lots of useful tips on how to plant grass seed and how to lay turf in our dedicated guides.
‘An easier and almost as effective alternative is to aerate the dead patch with a garden fork to a depth of 10in , then water it with dilute detergent to remove waterproof resins from the soil particles,’ continues John. ‘Rain will then penetrate. Finally, scarify the area and overseed it with a “lawn thickener” blend. Hopefully, new growth will cover the bald ring and the disease wont recur.