A combination of excessive heat and humidity in the summertime is the leading cause of fungus to emerge on the lawn. The fungus often occurs in times of stress, such as drought, long rainy periods, and overwatering. It usually develops because the water stays on the leaf surface far too long and is then spread from foot-traffic and mowing while still wet.
Signs of lawn fungus will appear as:
- Brown or “dead” looking spots on grass blades
- Dead or dry looking spots on your lawn (despite regular irrigation)
- Discolored patches that grow in size
- Threadlike or powdery coatings on grass blades
Red Thread (note the light red hue to the damaged grass blades) is a cool-season turf disease that thrives in undernourished lawns.
Dollar Spot appears as small circles of dead or dry grass on lawns. They often look sunken and can be alone or in clusters. This fungus thrives in hot, humid summer weather.
Brown Patch often appears in roughly circular or irregular patches that look dry or dead. It thrives in hot, humid summer weather. Brown Patch often forms as a circle of dry brown grass with a narrow darker ring around it.
Will the fungus go away?
Unfortunately, it will not go away on its own. You must treat it and then start implementing the following best practices to prevent it from coming back in the future.
- Water the lawn in the morning will allow the grass to absorb the water and then dry off throughout the day.
- Sharpen and clean mower blades regularly.
- When mowing, do not remove more than ⅓ of the grass blade.
- Remove thatch in the fall.
- Apply Jonathan Green Love Your Soil to reduce soil compaction and increase airflow.
- If your grass lacks calcium, apply Jonathan Green’s line of Mag-I-Cal in the spring to build strong cell walls, to promote disease resistance, and to enable the grass to utilize nutrients in the soil.
- Applying a fungicide should be your last line of defense.
If your lawn currently has or has had fungus in the past, it is best to apply Jonathan Green Lawn Fungus Control. This product will both treat and prevent lawn fungus.
Please note that if you apply the same fungicide many times, your lawn can build up a resistance to the active ingredients. Due to this resistance, the fungus may appear in your grass even if you put down a preventative treatment.