Are you tired of dealing with lawn fungus year after year? You’re not alone. Many homeowners are accustomed to seeing the straw-colored grass patches of dollar spot, the pinkish-red strands of red thread and the cotton-like patches of grey snow mold in their lawn.
When these types of lawn fungus appear, there are ways to counteract their emergence. You can apply fungicides to minimize dollar spot, use nitrogen-based fertilizer to reduce red thread and rake up infected areas and overseed bare spots to treat gray snow mold (we provide a more complete breakdown here). While these solutions will always be available when issues do arise, the fact remains that it’s far better to prevent versus treat lawn fungus. And with the right lawn care practices in place, you can do just that.
4 Ways to Keep Lawn Fungus Out of Your Yard
Water Your Lawn in the Morning
If your grass is wet when night falls, it becomes a favorable environment for lawn fungus to grow. That’s because several of these diseases depend on wet foliage to reproduce and spread.
For this reason, it’s best to water your lawn before 10 a.m. when dew is still on the ground. Rather than leaving your lawn damp for hours, this approach minimizes the length of time your grass is wet and defends against the rise of lawn disease.
Mow Your Lawn So Grass Stays Long
Visually, shorter grass may seem like an appealing option. But too short of a lawn — one that exposes the stems of grass blades — translates into a stressed lawn with minimal energy reserves to ward off disease.
To avoid this problem, set your mower blades higher so that only the top ⅓ of grass blades are cut. With more extensive root systems, longer grass can better withstand harsh conditions and crowd out the development of lawn fungus.
Balance Fertilization Treatments
Regular fertilization is an important part of what keeps your lawn healthy. Yet, as is the case with the watering of lawns, balance is crucial to its success. Too much or too little fertilizer can negatively affect nutrient levels in soil and subsequently damage or kill grass.
Performing a soil test helps paint an accurate picture of your lawn’s fertilizer needs. By providing clarity about your soil’s pH level and nutritional status, these test results can identify whether your soil may be too acidic (and thus a breeding ground for lawn fungus) or if other nutritional deficiencies could harm the health of your lawn.
Aerate Your Lawn
While some degree of thatch can deliver nutritional benefits to your lawn, a continuous build-up raises concerns. After a certain point, this accumulation will restrict the flow of water to grass roots and introduce a broad spectrum of fungus-related problems.
Instead of dethatching your lawn — a process that can often damage the crown of the plant — the safer, more effective alternative is aeration. The tiny holes taken out of your lawn will act as pockets where moisture is passed through to the root system versus sitting on the lawn surface. That way, your grass gets the nutrients it needs to thrive without standing water that is apt to invite lawn fungus.
Here at Weed Pro, we offer a variety of lawn care services designed to keep your lawn healthy and safe year round. Contact your local provider to learn how we can help you take a proactive approach to lawn fungus.