A healthy lawn is lush and green. However, if you notice some brown or yellow spots in your turf, it could be the result of a disease. There are several types of infections that can be found in Pennsylvania. Once you have identified the problem in the yard, there are ways to treat it. Here is a look at the most common grass diseases in the state.
Brown patches often occur in the summer, and they tend to infect bentgrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass. If you look at the infected grass in the morning, you can see a white layer of fungus on the blades. In most cases, the lawn will have a sunken appearance. Your grass will also look very patchy and thin. For those tall fescue lawns, there will be evidence of light brown or tan lesions on the grass blades. You can treat brown spots by reducing the moisture on the grass blades. For those severe infections, a fungicide application will need to be applied.
In the late summer or early fall, the fairy ring starts to affect lawns in Pennsylvania. You will notice a ring of discoloration in your turf. Some of these circles will have mushrooms on the outer edge of the ring. Many of the bands will infect about 4 to 12 inches of your grass. Fairy rings are caused by mushroom fungi that thrive in thatch and soil. While you may want to grab a fungicide to control this problem, these methods are often unsuccessful. For most lawns, you will need to remove a few inches of the topsoil. Once that is done, you should replace the soil and seed for new grass.
Dollar spots can appear in the early to late summer. These white or tan dead turf areas are about the size of a silver dollar. You will usually see several dead spots on your lawn. In some cases, the spots appear next to each other and create a larger dead turf area. When the temperature and humidity are high, there is a higher chance of an outbreak of this disease. Dollar spots occur in lawns that are regularly irrigated, and they are more prevalent in turfs that are low in nitrogen.
For those Kentucky bluegrass lawns, you want to keep an eye out for this powdery mildew. Those shady areas of your yard are more susceptible to this disease. While this species of bluegrass suffers from powdery mildew, tall fescues are resistant to this affliction. High humidity, shade, poor air circulation, and cold air temperatures provide a favorable environment for powdery mildew. This disease will produce a gray-white powder growth on the grass blades. You can use a fungicide to control this grass disease.
Red thread occurs in the spring when the temperatures reach 65 to 75 degrees. This disease loves humid and moist weather. At the tip of the grass blades, you will see a pink fungus. If you want to remove this fungus from your grass, you can control it by balancing your nitrogen levels.
Gray Snow Mold
When the snow starts to melt, you might notice this grass disease. You often find gray snow mold in areas with massive snow accumulation. Once the turf is visible, the grass blades will appear matted and dead. Gray snow mold can affect a few inches to several feet of your lawn. While gray snow melt does destroy the blades of the grass, the roots are still healthy. Fungicide will not help you get rid of this disease. You can use a rake to fluff up the affected area to allow more airflow and growth.
As you guessed, summer patch occurs in the mid-summer when the temperature starts to reach over 80 degrees. This disease can affect fine fescues and Kentucky bluegrass. Summer patches can affect those areas with insufficient drainage, poor circulation, and heavy foot traffic. It starts in small circular patches and can increase into larger areas. Most summer patches are yellow or brown in color. If left untreated, the fungus will destroy large areas of your lawn. Fungicide can help, but you will have better results with aeration and overseeding in the fall.
When the air temperature reaches over 85 degrees, then pythium blight can be a problem for your lawn. High temperatures can cause the disease to infect and damage your yard. Pythium blight causes your grass to look water-soaked, and it will eventually start to wilt the grass blades. These patches are gray to light brown in color. Some severe infection areas may even have a white cobweb of growth. If you are looking to avoid this disease, your lawn needs to have the right nutrients. For those infected lawns, a fungicide may help. You will want to apply the fungicide before your area experiences hot and humid weather.
Leaf spot is another disease that mainly strikes Kentucky bluegrass. This disease occurs during April and May. During the cool and wet weather, the fungus becomes active. Excess nitrogen in your grass can cause this disease to thrive throughout your lawn. The good news is that fungicides can help get rid of leaf spots. You will want to apply the fungicide in early April before the grass starts to green. For the best results, continue with the fungicide until the end of May. If you are looking for a permanent solution, aeration and seeding in the fall can help curtail this disease.
Don’t Stress With Your Grass
Grass diseases can be frustrating. You want to identify the problem and find a solution to prevent any damage to your lawn. However, those household remedies might not be enough to fix your problem. At Charlestown Landscaping, we can help with your grass disease issues. Our team can come up with solutions to keep your turf green and healthy. We’ll go that extra step for your lawn. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please fill out the contact form.