Putting time and money and lots of effort into having a thick, verdant lawn, only to see brown patches, dead rings of grass, or slimy looking spots show up in spring and summer can be so frustrating. Lawn treatment for fungus can be a tricky endeavor—it’s something that can’t be resolved by just throwing money at different lawn products. Here are some things you should know about treating lawn fungus on your Fishkill, NY, landscape.
Related: Using Lawn Fertilizers Responsibly
What Is Fungus?
Any fungus, including a lawn fungus, is a microscopic plant that does not produce its own food supply, so it attaches to a host plant (your grass), and feeds off of the host. Left unattended, the fungus expands to other blades of grass and a patch of dead grass develops. Unfortunately, this grass will not regrow on its own, so it requires some sort of treatment.
What Leads to Lawn Fungus?
Disease causes lawn fungus. Some lawn fungus attacks when it is rainy and damp for a long period of time. Snow mold and dollar spot are two fungi that thrive in damp conditions. Snow mold lives under the snow of winter, and stays when the snow begins to melt. Powdery mildew can also appear in overcast, moist conditions.
Other lawn fungus problems begin in hot, dry conditions of middle to late summer. Rusty looking patches with crescent looking shapes can form in late summer. Many times you can see the reddish-orange spores on the blades themselves. And brown patch, a circular patch of grass that looks dead on the outside ring but slightly green on the inside, occurs when it is especially hot and humid in the summer.
How Can Lawn Fungus Be Remedied?
Treating, and hopefully preventing, lawn fungus consists of several steps. First, having the soil tested to determine any nutrient deficiencies is essential. You don’t want a treatment put in place that isn’t going to attack your lawn’s exact problem. The first step is knowing what nutrients your lawn needs to eliminate the fungal disease.
Second, grass needs proper air circulation to thrive. If there are too many trees and overgrowth, this can prevent the roots from receiving the air that is essential to healthy roots and blades. One option is removing a troublesome tree to encourage better air flow.
Third, mowing at the correct height to protect the roots of the grass is necessary. The mower height should be at 4 inches and above allows for a smooth cut, but with enough blade left to protect the roots.
Fourth, watering twice per week to a depth of 3 to 4 inches gives your lawn the moisture it needs, without over or under watering. The ideal time to water is in the early morning, to give your grass time to absorb the moisture before the harsh sun hits.
Last, and critically important, is nourishing your lawn with fertilizer. When it’s known which nutrients your lawn lacks, the fertilizer feeding can be targeted effectively. Your landscape contractor will be careful not to over fertilize or under fertilize, because this is a direct correlation to lawn fungus. Healthy, lush lawns have the right amount of nutrients, in the correct proportion, to flourish.