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Fungus Among Us! Cool Season Lawn Diseases.

Fungus Among Us!

One of the most common causes for concern in a lawn is fungus damage. Depending on the fungus at work, this can be a simple indicator of other issues. Or it can be a cause of lasting damage that requires repair and remediation. Inevitably, every lawn will be affected by fungus at some point. Fungal spores blow around on the breeze every minute of every day. They do this in an effort to find just the right conditions to settle in and create new fungal spores and continue their existence.
Red Thread Fungus
Red Thread, a fungus that rarely causes lasting damage, is identified by these characteristic red or pink stromata.

How Does Fungus Affect The Lawn?

Different species of fungus will affect the lawn differently. They have different conditions that they require to thrive. However, there are also some commonalities. These common traits can make identification difficult for homeowners. It often takes a trained professional to diagnose and treat fungal damage in a lawn. The most common trait shared by fungi is the visible signs of damage. Brown patches of grass in a homeowners lawn are usually the only indicator that the homeowner has seen, and the first time they have realized that there is an issue. But the fungus has already been hard at work for a while by the time that this damage is obvious enough to cause concern.
Pythium Blight Fungus
Pythium can cause lasting damage that can destroy large patches of lawn if left untreated

When Should I Be On The Lookout For Fungus?

As I said before, different species thrive under different conditions. Some fungi, such as Snow Molds prefer cold temperatures and long periods of snow cover. Others, such as Pythium Blight prefer hot, humid weather when dew is heavy on the lawn. The best answer to this question is; You should always be on the lookout for fungal damage in your lawn. Treating a fungal infection at the earliest sign will limit the damage and reduce the cost and need of repair.
Dollar Spot Fungus
Dollar Spot fungus causes small patches of closely grouped brown spots in the lawn. The damage is usually temporary.

How Do I Get Rid Of Fungus?

Just as there are a multitude of turf fungi, there are also a multitude of treatments available. Some are available from your local hardware store or garden center, but most are only available to licensed professionals. Some work as a preventative, applied when the conditions are right for fungus to be present. Many others are used as a curative, only being applied after  damage has occurred.  The truly best way to prevent fungus from damaging the lawn is through our cultural practices. Proper mowing, watering and fertilization will keep the lawn very healthy and more able to resist and repair the damage caused by a fungal infection.
Brown Patch Fungus
Brown Patch can cause large, irregularly shaped areas of damaged grass. While the damage is not usually permanent, aeration and seeding may be needed to get the lawn back to being thick and healthy,

What Is The Best Way To Protect My Lawn?

Because identification can be so complex, and treatment can be complicated and costly, it is often best to trust this to a professional. And as I said before, the best way to manage fungus is to make sure the lawn is healthy. Having a great lawncare plan in place that addresses the lawns needs is one of the best ways to limit the damage caused by fungus. It is not the end all answer though. Making sure that the lawn is being mowed and watered properly is also a huge part of it. A dull mower blade that tears and rips the blade instead of making a clean cut will open the lawn up to a higher risk of fungal infection. A lawn weakened by drought, or stressed by overwatering is also more likely to see fungus take hold and cause problems. A professional turf specialist will be able to advise you in these matters. They will also be able to recognize signs of fungal damage and address them accordingly. Whether by applying more fertilizer to speed up the growth of the lawn or by applying a curative fungicide to stop the spread of infection.
Snow Mold Fungus
Snow Mold is commonly seen in areas where heavy snow has accumulated and covered the lawn for an extended period of time. It can cause lasting damage that is costly to repair if left untreated.

How Can Green’s Lawncare Help My Lawn?

Here at Green’s, we take lawncare seriously. Our Turf Specialists not only go through the state required minimums to become licensed, they also undergo our extensive in house training program and continued education classes. They know exactly what it takes to keep a lawn at its best and how to fix it when things go wrong. Using top quality products and advanced knowledge of the industry, there is almost no issue that your Turf Specialist cannot help you through. In addition to our fertilization services, we also offer mulchingfertilizing, and aeration – just about any service necessary to keep lawns green, lush, and healthy all year long. Call us today at (317) 748-3153.