WHAT CAUSES A DISEASE / FUNGUS?
There are various diseases or fungi that attack turf. Some damage is unattractive while others may cause complete devastation. For turf grass disease to thrive there must be three primary components present at the same time. These are the Host (grass plant), the pathogen (disease/ fungus), and the environment (weather and natural conditions). Turfgrass disease can be challenging to identify because they share many characteristics with other lawn matters.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE DISEASE IN YOUR LAWN
Brown areas, leaf spots or patches of dead grass may appear to be damage caused by disease however improper lawn maintenance techniques or poor irrigation can also present similar symptoms in your lawn.All turfgrass problems should be evaluated in person by the professionals at See Green.
COMMON TURF DISEASES
Snow Mold: With the snow gone, snow mold may become visible on turfgrass, especially on immature strands of grass seeded the previous fall. Snow mold damages turf from late fall through early spring. Prolonged rain or melting heavy snowfall will accelerate damage. A common indicator of snow mold is water soaked patches that are yellow, tan or pinkish in color and may even have a mold growing on the area. To prevent this issue, fungicides can be applied before the snow season.
Red Thread: Red Thread attacks most cool season grasses. Disease is often identified as a light patch work of discolored grasses in the early morning. Red to pink thread like growths at the end of the grass blades are significant characteristics of Red Thread. Rarely will this disease become fatal to turf. Maintain sufficient fertility with adequate levels of nitrogen to encourage the turf to grow out of the condition.
Dollar Spot: Damage from Dollar Spot usually begins in the warm moist weather of late spring or early summer. Once the disease is present it can continue throughout the summer. Early signs of Dollar Spot damage are small areas the size of a silver dollar, hence the name. On home lawns cut at 1 to 3 inches, dead areas may reach 2 to 4 inches in diameter then grow together into larger irregular patches. Dollar Spot can often be recognized by straw colored blotches on the grass blade, which progress to a reddish-brown margin. When active, a cobweb sort of growth is often seen. Dollar Spot often weakens turf making it susceptible to drought and other conditions. A fungicide is usually necessary.
Brown Patch: Brown Patch effects all turf grasses especially perennial rye and tall fescue. It can cause severe damage overnight when temperature and humidity is very high. Disease begins at a central location then spreads outward forming circular yellow-brown patches of thinned turf in various sizes. Elongated lesions bordered by tan or darker brown bands are seen on individual grass blades. Applying a fungicide is critical in the early stages of this disease.