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Lawn Fungal Diseases

Lawn Fungal Diseases You Need to Watch Out For!

April Showers bring May Flowers, but June Showers can often bring lawn fungal diseases! Fungal infections are ugly and can make your grass dry and susceptible to weed and insect infestations. Keep reading to see what Giroud’s Lawn Care Experts have to say about these unsightly spots, and how to best to manage each variety of fungus!

Identifying Lawn Fungal Diseases

To the untrained eye, it can be tricky to diagnose which type of fungus your lawn is suffering from. That’s because many fungi share similar symptoms- such as brown spots, dead patches, and dry grass. The most common forms of lawn fungal diseases in Pennsylvania are Brown Patch, Red Thread, and Dollar Spot.

Brown Patch lawn fungal disease fungus
Brown Patch

Brown Patch

You can expect to see Brown Patch in the summertime when nights get very humid. This fungus typically appears as brownish-yellow rings in both small or large patches. Brown Patch affects all cool weather grasses, which are prominent grasses in Pennsylvania. Giroud does offer a fungicide program. However, these treatments are usually not warranted as outbreaks of Brown Patch subside when the weather changes.

Red Thread lawn fungal disease fungus
Red Thread

Red Thread

Red Thread is a lawn fungus disease that is more active in the summer. Symptoms are small round patches of brown grass with a telltale reddish-pink appearance caused by Mycelium, or fungal threads. Red thread occurs in humid weather when grass is moist.  It should diminish when conditions change. However, if we go into drought, the recovery may not occur until fall.

Dollar Spot lawn fungal disease fungus
Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot

This Lawn Fungus is also one that rears its ugly head in the heat of the summer.  Again, fungicide is usually only needed in severe cases. The best way to combat Dollar Spot is to use the proper fertilizer and keep the grass on a great lawn care program.

According to Penn State’s Department of Plant Science, “Late spring nitrogen-fertilizer applications can help to minimize dollar spot severity, since growth will be stimulated during the period (early summer) when dollar spot infection begins. On lawns, fertilizer that releases nitrogen slowly over an extended period is more advantageous than a quick-release product at this time of year.”  Giroud follows this protocol for our late spring fertilizer applications.

Are lawn mushrooms safe for petsLawn Mushrooms

You may see fungus in the form of pesky mushrooms popping up around your property, especially after heavy rain. The best way to get rid of lawn mushrooms is to just leave them be! It’s completely normal to see these finicky fungi after a storm, but in time, they will shrivel up and die off.

How to Avoid Lawn Fungal Diseases

There are always preventative measures homeowners can take to avoid lawn fungus:

  • Rake up leaves and other debris
  • Keep your lawn mowed at 3”-4” tall
  • Put your lawn on a healthy regimen of fertilizer treatments to promote new growth
  • Aerate and Seed in the fall to prevent thatch

How to Tackle Lawn Fungal Diseases

Lawn Fungal Diseases are often confused with drought, fertilizer burn, or insect or pet damage.  When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to schedule an evaluation with your Giroud Lawn Care Specialist. Your Giroud Lawn Expert can give a proper diagnosis and determine the best course of action.

The good news is most lawn disease symptoms are temporary and fungicide use is usually not warranted. Most lawn diseases will dissipate when weather conditions change. However, keeping your grass strong with Giroud’s fertilizer applications will help stimulate new growth and crowd out the fungus.

In severe cases, several properly timed fungicide applications may be necessary for effective disease suppression.  Plus, Giroud treats only the specific problems that exist on your lawn. This targeted approach keeps your lawn healthy and eliminates unnecessary use of chemicals.

If you have any questions about your lawn, give Giroud a call at 215-682-7704. Inspections are always FREE!


Author: Jeanne Hafner

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