When an unsightly lawn fungus appears in your outdoor space, it’s tempting to wait out the situation and hope the problem subsides. But with no action comes no results — it’s a problem that is likely to spread and grow worse.
But this action doesn’t just come in the form of fungicide applications. It’s also a matter of taking the right approach to lawn maintenance to help lawns fully recover and thrive in the future.
What Happens When Lawn Fungus Is Ignored
In the interest of the season, let’s use the example of dollar spot — a common lawn fungus that can appear anywhere between late spring and late fall in Ohio.
When these straw-colored patches of grass are treated like the rest of your lawn, the movement of mowers and foot traffic is bound to spread the disease. While a homeowner can reduce these types of movement, other environmental factors like strong winds or heavy rainfall have a similar effect.
As dollar spot spreads throughout a lawn, what was once a small patch of weak grass can turn into a damaged lawn that ultimately needs to be replaced. In terms of cost, lawn replacement can add up to $1.75 per square foot (with additional service fees tacked onto the tab).
What Happens When Lawn Fungus Is Properly Addressed
Now that we know what it looks like when lawn fungus is ignored, let’s see what the right steps can do to combat this problem.
Once again using the example of dollar spot, the first step would be to apply a fungicide when you first notice the issue. If the disease progresses too far, there’s less chance this treatment method will prove effective in terms of performance or costs.
As far as lawn maintenance goes, simple steps can go a long way. In terms of mowing your lawn, make sure to clean mower blades after each use, and collect and dispose of lawn clippings to prevent the spread of fungal disease.
Since dollar spot (like many other types of lawn fungus) is magnified by moisture, it’s also important to get the timing right for the deep, infrequent irrigation of your lawn. The optimal time is early in the morning so that water does not sit too long or evaporate before it has a chance to be absorbed.
While we’ve used the example of dollar spot in this case, the same sentiment rings true for other types of lawn fungus: playing the waiting game delivers less-than-desirable (and costly) results.