Recently I noticed a disease on some home lawns known as rust. Although we often consider rust something that you find on neglected pieces of metal, it is also a disease of neglected lawns.
Rust, Puccinia spp., can be a problem on many of the turfgrasses grown in Ohio. If you have been on a lawn that has rust, early in the morning, there is a good chance that your shoes look like you just walked through a tub of Cheetos. Rust produces spores that are bright orange in color, and are easily transferred to shoes and paws.
We start to see rust in lawns during this time of the year. Often times lawns that haven’t been properly fed during the hot dry summers, mixed with adequate environmental conditions, will experience rust.
Rust usually causes little damage to the actual plants. If the lawn is established it should be able to grow out of the disease with proper fertilization. Newly established areas often are more highly affected by rust out breaks.
As with many turfgrass diseases, the best defense is a good offense. Rust, just like the neglected car in your neighbors front yard, comes from not receiving proper care. Keeping your lawn properly fertilized during the year will reduce rust break outs. Most established lawns will have the ability to grow out of the disease.
Learn About Other Fall Lawn Care Problems & How to Fix Them!
Rust isn’t the only fall lawn care disease! Learn about other potential fall problems in your landscape and how to fix them by downloading our Free Guide!
Guest Author: Andrew Muntz received his Master’s of Science in Turfgrass science and his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Horticulture at The Ohio State University, Columbus OH.