A lawn is a part of your landscape that increases the beauty of your property exponentially. It improves your property’s curb value and provides you with a clean and healthy environment. However, to maintain a great lawn, you want to identify its underlying diseases in order to prevent them from ruining the greenery.
In your lawn, each square foot of turf contains around 500 to 1000 grass blades. Each of these individual grass blades requires a proper amount of air, water, food, and a regular lawn care regime for healthy growth. If they fail to get any of these elements or get them in excess, they become susceptible to diseases. Dead grass or dying spots are some of the common indications of the presence of diseases. When a disease hits the grass, prevention becomes difficult without the identification of the underlying issues.
In this blog, we will discuss how to diagnose lawn diseases and prevent their outbreak. So, let’s jump right into the topic.
How To Identify Common Lawn Diseases
Most lawn diseases occur due to fungal attacks. The three factors that increase the chance of fungal infection are pathogens, unfavorable weather conditions, and weak and neglected grass. In the absence of these three factors, grass generally thrives and makes your lawn thick, lush, and beautiful. Though it’s challenging to control the weather conditions, we can avoid the spread of diseases by recognizing the threats. Fungal lawn diseases are of two types-
- Leaf Diseases– There are certain fungal pathogens that only attack the blades of grass. Some of the common leaf diseases caused by fungal pathogens are snow mold, red thread, leaf spot, powdery mildew, and so on. These diseases can be resolved with a regular lawn care regime and they do not cause significant damage to the lawn. However, if not controlled on time, leaf diseases might hamper the health and beauty of your lawn.
- Patch Diseases– Patch diseases are fungal diseases that attack or infect the roots of turfgrass. Brown patches and summer patches are the two most common types of patch disease. The symptoms of these diseases remain silent until the fungus has already damaged the roots. The most common reasons behind patch diseases are extreme summer heat or reduced rain. Thus, these patches can mostly be seen in the month of June or July. Lawns took over by these diseases often have circular or crescent-shaped patches of dead grass around clusters of green grass. Considered to be one of the most destructive fungal diseases, patch diseases can make your lawn unhealthy and uneven overnight. So, if you live in an area prone to less rain or extreme heat, consider taking preventive treatments to avoid these diseases.
Fighting and Preventing Lawn Diseases
When it comes to lawn care, accurate diagnosis is the first step in successful treatment. Once you identify the underlying problem, you can take the necessary steps to prevent and correct the issues. While you cannot control the weather and totally eradicate pathogens from the lawn, you can always establish a healthy regime to defend against diseases. Here are some of the practices you can incorporate in your daily lawn care regimen to fight these diseases while keeping your turf looking great.
- Treat the Pathogens– If a fungal pathogen has already damaged your lawn grass, you cannot undo that damage. However, with preventive measures, you can stop the outbreak. There are several fungicides available in the market. Talk to your local lawn care specialist or arborist for a well-timed treatment. They can inspect your lawn visually and go for laboratory analysis to identify the underlying problem. To keep the pathogens from returning, professionals can also recommend different preventive disease programs.
- Overseed with Disease-Resistant Grass– Looking for an effective way to resist fungal infections in your lawn? Consider spreading disease-resistant, high-quality grass seeds onto your lawn. This will help you to establish a strong and disease-resistant lawn effectively. Though there are different laboratory-developed grass seeds available in the market that are resistant to weeds, fungus, and diseases, it’s a good idea to consult an arborist to make the right choice.
- Maintain the Right pH Balance- Learning about your lawn soil’s pH value is important to avoid its major health issues. Remember, grass prefers acidic soils to basic soils for healthy growth. So, to keep away infections and diseases, maintain the soil pH from 6.0 to 7.0. Test your soil regularly and go for soil amendments to keep your lawn grass strong and healthy.
- Aerate the Soil- If the soil of your lawn is compact, it attracts different infections and diseases. The more it is compact, the more it impedes air and water movement. It gradually weakens your lawn’s root system and affects its internal health. Consider aerating your lawn’s soil so that the grassroots can absorb air, water, and nutrients in the right way.
- Fertilize– In order to develop a healthy turf, it is important to feed the soil with the right nutrients. Thus, consider fertilizing in your regular lawn care regimen to keep your lawn healthy and lush. Remember, unfertilized soil can fail to provide the right nutrient to grass, hamper their growth and attract disease-causing pathogens. So, talk to your local lawn care expert for premium fertilizing products. You can also make compost with your kitchen leftovers. Composts make better fertilizers and provide you with long-term results.
To prevent lawn damage and diseases, it’s always a smart choice to call an experienced lawn care specialist. From inspecting the grass blades and roots visually to providing you with the right solutions, lawn care professionals can benefit your lawn in many ways. They can even equip you with the right tools and techniques to fight lawn disease on all fronts. So, if you want to achieve a thick, lush, and disease-free lawn, get going today.