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August Lawn Tips: Turf Diseases

By Allyn Paul, filed under Lawn Tips.



We have been talking about the importance of proper lawn care practices in August, and the first in this series gave you some basics. Now, let’s get down to some specifics and talk about lawn fungus and disease.

Brown Spots From Lawn Fungus

In the summer, there are a lot of reasons why your lawn will get brown spots. It could be insects, lack of water, mowing too low… or fungus!

The main lawn fungus you will see in August is called “Dollar Spot.” Dollar spot is so named because in certain turf grasses the brown patches you see are the size of silver dollars. However, in home lawns, the spots are larger because of the length of the grass. (you mow tall like I tell you!)

If you have dollar spot in your lawn, it is likely due to the fact that we are getting very hot days, and cooler nights, allowing the fungus to take ahold of turf root systems. Throw in some evening rains, and you have a perfect storm for this lawn disease.




How To Stop Dollar Spot Fungus

There are a few ways to help your lawn if it is infested with dollar spot fungus. The first is to make sure you are fertilizing properly. Lack of soil nitrogen will allow dollar spot to spread faster and take over. In addition, you need to mow tall and bag your clippings. I would also recommend washing your mower after each cutting so you don’t spread the fungus to other areas of the lawn.

If you must, you can try and apply a lawn fungicide. The simplest fungicides for homeowners to use are dry or granular. You can apply them with your lawn spreader and water them in. The key with fungicides is to apply them every 10 days during the time when the disease is active.

Remember, there are lots of ways your lawn gets stressed in summer, and fungus issues like dollar spot are just one.

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