There's a Fungus Among Us!

There’s a fungus amongus, and it’s not a pretty sight. Fungus in your lawn is a naturally occurring event, but when that fungus decides to overgrow, that’s when you have a problem! An overgrowth of fungus appears in several ways. One sign of fungus are patches or rings of white, yellow, or brown that continues to spread. Another sign of a fungal infection are when blades of grass seem thin, frayed, or discolored; or blades may have spots of gray, black, purple, or red on them. A third sign that you have been infected with fungus is that your blades of grass may appear to be coated with a threadlike substance of gray, black, or a powdery pink; and last but not least, your grass can appear to be greasy, wet, slimy, or dark. If you notice any of these signs appearing on your lawn, it is time to take quick action!

There are countless types of fungus that can attack your lawn but there are three that are particularly common here. First are brown patches. This is a fungus that usually occurs during hot, humid weather. It needs both the heat and the moisture to thrive. Next is Fusarium blight. This fungus is common during hot, dry conditions. This breed needs the hot, dry drought-like atmosphere to thrive; and lastly there are dollar spots. This type of fungus is common at night during high moisture times when there is plenty of dew.

The trouble with overgrowing fungus, no matter which type you have, is that it is very difficult to treat and often will require the use of a fungicide applied by a certified lawn specialist. The best way to treat a fungal infection in your lawn is to avoid it altogether. The surest way of avoiding a fungal infection is to understand exactly where it comes from. So here’s the 411. Adding any of these conditions to your lawn can stress your grass, and often leads to a fungal infection:

  • Drought – proper moisture is necessary for the health of your lawn.
  • Improper mowing – cutting grass below 3 inches is a fungus invitation.
  • Compacted soil – when soil is compacted it is difficult for water to penetrate and leads to drought conditions.
  • Overwatering - just as under watering is bad, so is overwatering.
  • Using too much fertilizer – this will upend the delicate balance of nutrients in your lawn causing fungi to abnormally multiply.
  • Planting the wrong type of grass – be sure to use a grass that thrives in your area.
  • Weather conditions (humidity and temperature) – although there is not much you can do about the weather, being aware that this contributes to fungal growth is important and allows you to offset some of these conditions.

So, what exactly can you do to help avoid a fungal infection in your lawn? I’m glad you asked. The first step is to have your soil tested to determine if your lawn has the proper nutrients it needs to fight off infection and thrive. Next, be sure to aerate your lawn every few years to break up compacted soil. Another great tool is to top-dress your lawn. Top-dressing will improve soil quality, increase drainage, and help your lawn fight disease. Also, be sure you choose a grass seed that is made for your climate and its conditions.  Lastly, proper fertilization and watering will also make a huge difference in keeping your lawn healthy.

If you have followed all of these tips and you still have fungus, or if you don’t have the time or energy it takes to maintain a healthy lawn on your own, give us a call.

Here at Hoffer Pest Solutions, we are experts at lawn care and can help you avoid diseased lawns and properly treat the diseases that may already exist there. Our highly trained and experienced technicians can quickly identify disease, safely eradicate it, and help you to avoid it in the future. If your lawn needs help, call us today and experience the difference the Hoffer solution will make. You will be glad you did!

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