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Lawn Disease

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 10 Aug 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Lawn Disease Treating Lawn Fungus Lawn

Okay so you finally have to admit that your lawn has a problem. Perhaps you have noticed large dead patches that are getting bigger and popping up all over your formerly healthy green lawn. You have discovered that it is not the result of some kind of pest or the result of one too many backyard barbeques complete with high traffic and lots of stress on your lawn.

What is the Problem?

Chances are you probably have some kind of lawn disease. Since lawn diseases are almost always a fungus, you need to find out what kind it is so you can effectively treat it. There are generally three types of lawn fungus that affect most lawns:

  • Water molds
  • Parasites
  • Imperfect Fungi

The bad news here is that if you don't diagnose and treat it, the lawn disease will spread and damage your entire lawn, so here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself in order to diagnose and treat your lawn disease.

  • What type of grass do you have? Some lawn diseases are more prone to attack certain types of grass than others.

  • What time of year is it and when did the disease first become noticeable? Some fungi are seasonal.

  • Does the damaged grass have a greasy or waterlogged appearance to it?

  • Does your lawn have visible fungal structures, such as rusty areas, reddish threads, or smoky haze?

  • When did you fertilise your lawn?

  • How often and how much water is your lawn getting on a regular basis?

  • How often does the affected area get sunlight?

  • Do you have good air circulation in the area, or is it surrounded by trees, bushes or shrubs?

  • Is the damaged area at a higher or lower level than the rest of the lawn?

  • What is the size and shape of the affected area, and have you noticed any lawn growth?

  • Does the lawn surrounding the affected area have any color differences?

Questions to the Expert

In addition to answering all of the above questions, your next step is to cut a small section of lawn that includes both damaged and undamaged areas and take it to an expert. You can find one by consulting the employees at your local home center or garden nursery. Take the lawn section and the detailed answers to the above questions to the expert. They should be able to diagnose your fungal problem and tell you how to treat it effectively.

Most treatments for lawn disease include a chemical treatment of some kind. It is important to follow the directions closely, and wear rubber gloves, a dust mask and goggles to protect yourself. Keep children and animals away from the area for at least 24 hours or more.

Avoiding Lawn Disease

Finally, the best way to avoid lawn disease is to maintain your lawn. Choose grass types that are resistant to the most common lawn diseases in your particular area. Fertilise your lawn at the proper time, and mow to the proper height and with a sharp blade. Aerate, de-thatch and water your lawn properly so that it is healthy enough to resist lawn diseases and stays healthy and attractive.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Mark - Your Question:
I have a large lawn (approx 90sqm) and it is becoming increasingly patchy. My neighbours have nice green lawns but mine is very light and looks almost dead by comparison. The best areas of my lawn are quite thick and green but have some brown strands and some white strands of grass. The worst areas are course white strands with hardly any greenness. I've scarified the lawn this evening in the hope of reviving it. I've also looked on the web and the closest article to my problem is red thread lawn fungus but I cannot see any red in it at all - only white. When I pull a patch out, there are several strands of this white, straw like course grass. The soil underneath my lawn is very compact and it is difficult to aerate it, especially with it being such a large area. Please can you point me in the right direction for a cure. Realistically, it's getting quite late in the year now, so am I best wait until next year? Many thanks.

Our Response:
It is hard to say, but the white growth could be fungal mycelium visible which can be quite difficult to remove. The 'fairy ring' fungus leaves behind a white thread-like network, that prevents water penetration and simultaneosly dries out the soil, accounting for the patches. Any particularly green sections of your lawn is where the active fungus is releasing and using the nitrogen. It may be worthwhile doing some research to see if this might be your culprit. It should have a fungal-like smell attached to the threads/thatch.
LawnExperts - 13-Aug-15 @ 10:57 AM
I have a large lawn (approx 90sqm) and it is becoming increasingly patchy. My neighbours have nice green lawns but mine is very light and looks almost dead by comparison. The best areas of my lawn are quite thick and green but have some brown strands and some white strands of grass. The worst areas are course white strands with hardly any greenness. I've scarified the lawn this evening in the hope of reviving it. I've also looked on the web and the closest article to my problem is red thread lawn fungus but I cannot see any red in it at all - only white. When I pull a patch out, there are several strands of this white, straw like course grass. The soil underneath my lawn is very compact and it is difficult to aerate it, especially with it being such a large area. Please can you point me in the right direction for a cure. Realistically, it's getting quite late in the year now, so am I best wait until next year? Many thanks.
Mark - 10-Aug-15 @ 10:01 PM
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