It’s a Simple Solution
Lawn fungal diseases have many faces. From brown patches to highly visible spots, threads, rings, or slime. How to treat lawn fungus naturally? Grass fungal diseases can be difficult to treat when your yard becomes affected.
The good news is the right lawn care practices can help towards prevention and treatment of lawn fungus. Although extreme cases fungal growth and infestation might require a fungicide to help control fungal growth
Causes of Lawn Fungal Disease
Your lawn is naturally full of fungi and spores, some harmless and some problematic, but the right (or wrong) conditions can cause grass fungus to erupt into a harmful disease. The most common causes of a lawn fungal disease are:
- Improper mowing (especially mowing too low)
- Compacted soil
- Over watering
- Too much fertilizer (or using the wrong kind)
- Wrong grass type for your yard – Using a warm season grass in a northern area.
- Weather conditions (particularly temperature and humidity)
Identify Lawn Fungal Diseases
Some signs that your lawn may have a fungal disease include are very noticeable and can easily be seen:
- White, yellow, or brown patches or rings that grow in diameter.
- Thin patches of frayed, distorted, or discolored grass blades.
- Gray, black, red, orange, or purple spots on blades or stems.
- Gray, black, or pink powdery or threadlike coatings on and around grass blades.
- Areas of darkened, wet-looking, slimy, or greasy-looking grass.
Knowing your grass type and recent weather conditions can help to narrow down what type of fungus is affecting your lawn. Your local cooperative extension center can help determining which diseases are most common in your area.
Prevention and Treating Lawn Fungal Diseases
A simple change in your lawn care practices may be enough to prevent or eradicate lawn fungal disease. Stressed or unhealthy lawns are likely to develop fungal disease.
Steps to take control of fungal diseases in your lawn:
Aerate: Loosen soil by aerating your lawn every year or two.
Top-Dress: Apply and rake organic top-dressing to improve the soil, increase drainage, and help combat disease.
Dethatch: Remove thick build up of thatch in your lawn to allow the soil to breathe.
Watering: Drenched lawns or snow laden lawns usually will develop mold.
Fertilization: Keeping your lawn fertilized properly maintains a good moisture balance.
- Water early in the morning, to allow the grass blades to dry during the day.
- Give your lawn one inch of water per week, and use a rain gauge to keep track.
- Water deeply, but less frequently, to encourage stronger roots and to allow the water to absorb properly.
Mowing: Scalped lawns are much more vulnerable to fungal disease. Follow good mowing practices, including keeping the mower blades sharp and mowing your lawn to the correct height.
Note: If your lawn has diseased patches, be sure to wash and disinfect the underside of your mower after each use.
Organic and Chemical Treatments
Organic Treatment: Applying organic treatments such as Neem oil, and Compost tea. Baking soda solution can also help with small patches of fungus.
Fungicides: If all else fails, look for a fungicide (preferably organic) that’s rated specifically for your lawn disease. Fungicides will not improve grass growth, but will hinder fungus until soil and lawn conditions improve to force out fungus. For more info about treating lawn mold with fungicide.