How to Get Rid of Lawn Fungus
Last Updated: 5/11/21
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes
Lawn fungus can happen anywhere and to anyone’s grass, no matter how well-cared for. Putting hours of work into maintaining a gorgeous lawn only to have these microorganisms move in and spoil things is frustrating. We get that. So to arm you with knowledge and confidence, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about lawn fungi and what you can do to stop them.
Types of Lawn Fungus
While many different types of fungi can affect your lawn, there are five common ones that affect the common grass types of Maryland and Northern Virginia.
This common fungus affects both warm and cool-season types of grass and favors areas with high humidity. An affected lawn will develop small patches of sunken, discolored grass, roughly the size of a silver dollar, hence the name.
Red Thread can be identified by areas of dead-looking grass with small red or pink fibers growing out from the soil as its name suggests. Cool-season grasses are most vulnerable but any turf/grass can be infected. Typically caused by low nitrogen levels in the soil, Red Thread can be fixed with proper fertilization.
This lawn fungus affects grasses in both localized and systemic ways. Outwardly, Summer Patch can be identified by irregularly shaped patches of straw-colored grass spread across an infected lawn. Summer Patch can also stunt grass’s growth, leading to a wilted and unhealthy-looking lawn.
Fairy Ring is named for the brown or dark green circles that appear on your turf, often surrounding greener patches of grass. In some cases, mushrooms can start growing along the circumference of the circles, which can vary from 3 to 50 feet in diameter.
Brown Patch and Dollar Spot can be easily confused for one another—they prefer similar conditions and even manifest in similar ways. The main way you can tell them apart is simple, though: Brown Patch will leave large, circular areas of discolored grass on your lawn as opposed to the small patches found with a Dollar Spot infection.
Signs of Lawn Fungus
Lawn fungus will almost always manifest in areas of discolored, thin, or dying grass, making it easy to spot. A trained lawn care professional should be able to easily identify the particular variety on your lawn based on the pattern and distribution of these areas. Discolored areas are usually brown, white, yellow, or straw-colored and can often be sunken in appearance as well.
Will Lawn Fungus Go Away on its Own?
Unfortunately, lawn fungus will never go away on its own. Left to its own devices, lawn fungus will continue to spread and get worse until it takes over your lawn altogether. No matter how small an affected area is, it will always get bigger.
How to Get Rid of Lawn Fungus
Since we know lawn fungus won’t go away on its own, this means that proper intervention from a trained lawn care technician is necessary to combat fungal infection and should be done as quickly as possible.
What is a Natural Remedy for Lawn Fungus?
Organic solutions can be highly effective if applied early and to all affected areas. A few of our favorite natural remedies include neem oil, weak baking soda solutions, and composted tea leaves. None of these solutions are as effective against the advanced fungal spread as professionally applied fungicides but can still be a useful tool in your lawn maintenance routine.
Can Grass Recover from Fungus?
Grasses are remarkably resilient plants and, in most cases, will fully recover from a fungal infection. It’s important to remember though, that there is no way to completely eliminate fungus from a lawn once it’s taken hold. Though they can be rendered dormant, fungal spores will persist. This, however, is not uncommon. Most lawns host multiple varieties of inactive fungus and are perfectly fine. The key is depriving it of the conditions that it needs to grow, which can be accomplished in many ways.
How to Prevent Lawn Fungus
In most cases, preventing lawn fungus is a simple matter of proper maintenance. Limiting moisture, ensuring access to adequate water and nutrients, mowing to a correct height, and choosing the right fertilizer will almost always yield a fungus-free lawn. If this sounds like a lot of work—well, it is. Don’t worry, though, because we have just the solution! A quality lawn care program like we offer at Blades of Green includes everything you need to prevent fungus. Check out our different lawn care services and see how we can help you finally have the lawn that you’ve always wanted.
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