A beautiful lawn is a dream come true and a matter of pride for homeowners. Well-tended lawns enhance the visual appeal of homes, hotels, and other buildings besides giving them a welcoming touch. Thus, finding out that your pride and joy is plagued by some kind of fungus can be very distressing. There are numerous fungi that can affect lawns. These fungi can be of two types — the beneficial kind, which help break down organic matter and supply nutrients for plant growth, and the kind that lead to disease. The latter can lead to plants dying or wilting and can affect the color and growth of leaves and the roots.
Fairy ring, rust, pink snow mold, and slime mold are some of the fungi that can lead to disease. Agricultural publications such as those by New Mexico State University and Cornell University provide valuable suggestions to ensure that lawns stay healthy throughout the different seasons. If your lawn has already become a victim of fungi, then you may have to sod again or attempt to grow again that section of your lawn, especially in severe cases.
Fungi are usually spread by air or water and, depending on the environmental and climatic conditions, can thrive for a long time. The main reasons why lawn fungi lead to disease are due to improper watering, lack of timely fertilization, irregular mowing, inadequate air and sunlight, and poor drainage. Some basic precautions can help keep your lawn healthy and green.
2.Do not Overseed
Too much water can be conducive to fungal growth.
The desire for a thick carpet of grass can lead one to overseeding. But you should remember that a thick lawn can mean raising the humidity of grass. This will lead to the grass staying wet, which is the right environment for fungi growth. The fungi then will find it extremely easy to infect the entire stretch of lawn.
3.The Right Way of Watering
Too much water can be conducive to fungal growth. It is a misconception that during summer time, lawns require more water. It is not just the amount of water you provide your lawn that matters, but also the time of day you water your lawn. Watering early in the morning ensures that the grass receives time to dry off. Putting in a sprinkler with a timer may be one way of ensuring that your lawn is watered at an appropriate time each day. Wet lawns are fungi magnets, as is standing water, which can be prevented with adequate drainage provisions.
4.Just Enough Fertilizer
Excessive use of fertilizers can lead to an increase in the nitrogen content of the lawn, which, in turn, will attract fungi. In some instances, it may be essential to use a fungicide along with the fertilizer to keep disease at bay. A lawn specialist will be able to provide the required guidance and formula based on the type of lawn you have.
Depending on the type of grass on the lawn and the kind of infestation, the treatment will also vary. It might be possible to salvage a diseased lawn with the help of fungicides. Using the right fungicide is important, because an exceptionally strong one or one that is not meant for your lawn can lead to the destruction of the good fungi. Spot treatment may be a good start, as it will help you gauge the effect of the fungicide on the affected grass. One must be careful when using fungicides and take all necessary precautions, as this can otherwise lead to health and environmental hazards. To learn more about treatment options, see our article on How To Treat & Prevent Lawn Fungus.