Pool parties, barbecues, play dates. These are probably some of the first things that come to mind when you think of summer. While there’s plenty of fun to be had on your end, summer is a less enjoyable time for your lawn. With high temperatures and humidity levels, grass undergoes more stress, which can lead to an outbreak of lawn fungus.
When talking about lawn fungus in the summer, there are a few types to watch for. There’s Pythium blight, recognized for its greasy feel when lawns are wet and yellow hues when dry; and brown patch, defined by circular brown patches with dark outer rings. Both types of lawn fungus are most prevalent in hot, humid conditions.
If you happen to spot either kind of lawn fungus in your Ohio landscape this summer, take these steps to combat their spread.
How to Control Pythium Blight
When patches of grass indicate signs of Pythium blight infection, which often occurs because homeowners apply too much water or fertilizer, there are several measures you can take.
First, you should avoid mowing over these areas if possible until signs of fungal infection disappear. Your mower can pick up spores of infected turf and spread them to other healthy areas of your lawn. If the patches of grass become too long and require a trim, make sure to mow when your lawn is dry as wet conditions are more conducive to the spread of fungal disease. We also recommend that you clean the underside of your mower after its use.
Another tip for controlling Pythium blight is to water infrequently and deeply. Just as a mower can move around infected spores to other areas of the lawn, the same can be said for standing pools of water on the grass. Draining patterns will quickly move infected spores across your lawn.
You’ll also want to water your lawn early in the morning (before 10 a.m.). If you water your lawn at night, a lack of evaporation can further exacerbate the growth of this lawn fungus.
How to Control Brown Patch
Like Pythium blight, brown patch is also often a product of applying too much fertilizer, as well as letting pools of water sitting on the grass for too long. In combination with the same mowing and watering techniques highlighted above, here are some other tactics you can use to combat this lawn fungus that kills grass blades.
If your lawn shows signs of brown patch in the summer, one of the best ways to provide relief is with aeration in the early fall. Creating small pockets in your soil will air out the infected areas and increase the flow of water and other nutrients to grass roots. After raking the infected areas to remove dead grass, you can reseed your lawn with a type of grass that is more resistant to this type of lawn fungus.
In combination with proper mowing and watering techniques, you should also avoid applying excess nitrogen to your lawn when temperatures are high. Not only can fertilizers cause lawn burn, but the release of too much nitrogen at once can cause forced, unnatural growth, with soil imbalances left behind. This can make a mild infection of brown patch significantly worse. Instead, you should wait until the fall to apply a slow-release fertilizer that encourages healthy lawn growth.
When it comes to tackling lawn fungus, the best approach is always a proactive one. The lawn care services we offer at Weed Pro are designed to put a stop to lawn issues before problems occur. To learn more about our services, contact your local provider.