Treating Lawn Diseases: Learn About Lawn Disease Control

lawn disease
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By Jackie Carroll

While we all dream of having a lush, green lawn, this isn’t always the case. Brown and yellow spots and bald patches in your lawn may be due to lawn diseases. Keep reading to learn more about treating lawn diseases.

Controlling Lawn Problems

Most common grass diseases are caused by fungi. Although many of the different types of diseases look similar, the basic control measures are the same:

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  • Prevent the disease from spreading by keeping the grass in the affected area short.
  • Remove the clippings, but don’t rake them across the lawn where they can infect other areas.
  • Clean lawn care equipment before moving onto other parts of the lawn.

The steps outlined below helps build a strong lawn that resists most types of turf diseases:

  • Choose a turfgrass recommended for your area, and always choose the most disease-resistant variety.
  • Level the lawn to get rid of low areas where water might stand.
  • Test the soil every five years and follow the test recommendations.
  • Follow a regular fertilization schedule when fertilizing grass.
  • Keep your mower blades sharp, and remove no more than one-third of the blade length every time you mow. Don’t mow wet grass.
  • Aerate your lawn every other year so that oxygen and nutrients can reach the turfgrass roots.
  • Remove thatch when it becomes more than 1/2 inch thick.
  • Keep the lawn free of leaves and debris.
  • Water grass deeply but infrequently to encourage deep roots. Watering early in the morning allows the water to evaporate during the day. Wet grass overnight encourages disease.
  • Watch for problems so you can head them off before they become serious.

Lawn disease control is challenging, but good lawn care practices go a long way toward preventing them from taking hold in the lawn. These lawn care steps can help you stop lawn diseases before they become a problem.

Identifying Common Lawn Diseases

Controlling lawn problems is easier if you can identify the specific disease, but identification can be difficult because so many diseases look alike. To make matters more confusing, lawn diseases resemble other problems such as dog urine spots, over or under fertilization, over or under watering, too much shade and dull mower blades.

Large brown spots in the lawn can indicate brown patch disease or anthracnose. Brown patch spots are usually circular, while anthracnose spots are irregular.

Spots about the size of a silver dollar indicate dollar spot. Bluegrass develops spots caused by Fusarium blight during hot, dry weather. Cool-season grass can develop Fusarium patch or snow mold after cool weather or snow melt. It can be gray or pink, depending on the type.

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