Most Common Lawn and Turf Diseases

Maintaining your landscape is not an easy task. It requires time and effort to ensure a healthy and vigorous lawn. When you skip lawn maintenance and care, diseases might take over your turfgrass. A landscape that does not receive enough water and fertilizer is more susceptible to disease.

If you notice a dead or dying spot on your lawn, you should know how to deal with it. To keep your lawn healthy, it’s important to know the cause of the disease. This way, you can solve the problem at its source. Watch out for these diseases that might creep up on your lawn:

Brown Patch

A brown patch is a fungal disease common in cool-season lawns. During late spring through early fall, you might see oval-shaped brown patches that are surrounded by green rings. These circular patches range from six inches to several feet in diameter. This brown patch disease is caused by a fungus called Rhizoctonia solani, which thrives during extended periods of heat and humidity. 

Since the brown patch is very common, this condition can be treated in numerous ways. You can choose between organic and chemical treatments to help your lawn recover from the disease. There are several lawn fungicides specifically for brown patches. Contact a landscaping expert to know which product would work for your grass type. Other preventive treatments for fungal diseases include proper watering, aerating, and optimizing the soil pH level.

Powdery Mildew

This is also a type of fungal disease that affects various plants and cool-season grasses. Powdery mildew appears as white, talcum-like spots on infected leaves. This kind of infection is very common in warm, dry climates. Although it’s not fatal, powdery mildew can cause plants to become weaker.

How can you treat powdery mildew? Remove all the leaves infected with powdery mildew. After this, you may apply fungicide or baking soda to the infected areas. Apply the solutions at least once a week for 3 to 4 weeks until you see results.

Pythium Blight

Caused by a type of fungi, Pythium blight causes severe damage to turfgrass. This lawn disease usually occurs in late spring or early summer when there’s hot, humid weather. It typically looks like small, brown patches that are 1-3 inches in diameter.

To treat pythium blight, fungicides must be applied to the turfgrass. Consult with a landscape professional on how you can minimize spots on your lawn.

Red Thread

When you notice patches of dead grass, this might be caused by a red thread. Its symptoms appear as irregularly shaped reddish-brown patches in cool-season grasses. This is likely due to low levels of nitrogen in the soil, which means fertilization is needed. 

Red thread will rarely kill the grass, but make sure to apply adequate amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. In more severe cases, a fungicide should be used to control the disease. 

Snow Mold

This is a fungal disease that typically occurs in late winter or early spring. The snow mold disease appears like black or grayish-white spots on the grass blades. The patches are usually matted down and crusty. In addition, you might notice a musty odor across the affected area.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your lawn recover from snow mold. You need to mow the lawn until the mold is no longer growing. Raking out the circular patches will also reduce the trapped moisture. If these are not effective, applying a fungicide might be necessary.

Fairy Ring

When an individual fungus grows underground, a fairy ring might appear. To identify fairy ring disease, look for ring-shaped brown patches or any circular areas of abnormal turf growth. It is commonly found on lawns where soils have high levels of organic matter, and in areas with poor drainage. 

To treat this lawn disease, the affected areas must be removed and replaced with healthy sod. Fungicides will also help prevent the spread of the disease.

Call Our Landscaping Company

Need high-quality commercial or residential landscaping services? Turn to none other than Midstate Landscaping. We are the most trusted local landscapers in Carlisle who will provide quality workmanship at affordable prices. Aside from lawn care, we offer landscaping, hardscaping, and mulching services. Our team is here to help you create a functional and unique lawn. Call us today to get a free, no-obligation quote.