After the long winter we've had, it's refreshing to see the trees leafing out, the flowers blooming and bright green grass! April Showers bring May Flowers, but May Showers can often bring June fungi! You may see fungus in the form of pesky mushrooms popping up around your property. But, do you know how to spot the signs of a fungal disease on your lawn? To the untrained eye, it can be tricky to diagnose which type of fungus your lawn is suffering from. That's because many fungi share similar symptoms- such as brown spots, dead patches and dry grass. Keep reading to see what Giroud’s Lawn Care Experts have to say about these unsightly spots, and how to best to manage each variety of fungus!
You can expect to see Brown Patch in the summertime when nights get very humid. This fungus typically appears as brownish yellow rings in both small or large patches. Brown Patch affects all cool weather grasses; the prominent type of grass in our area. Giroud does offer a fungicide program. It’s usually not warranted as outbreaks of Brown Patch subside when the weather changes.
Red Thread is a lawn fungus disease that is more active in the summer. Symptoms are small round patches of brown grass with a telltale reddish-pink appearance caused by Mycelium, or fungal threads. Red thread occurs in humid weather when grass is moist. It should diminish when conditions change. However, if we go into drought, the recovery may not occur until fall.
This Lawn Fungus is also one that rears its ugly head in the heat of the summer. Again, fungicide is usually only needed in severe cases. The best way to combat Dollar Spot is to use the proper fertilizer and keep the grass on a great lawn care program.
According to Penn State’s Department of Plant Science, “Late spring nitrogen-fertilizer applications can help to minimize dollar spot severity, since growth will be stimulated during the period (early summer) when dollar spot infection begins. On lawns, fertilizer that releases nitrogen slowly over an extended period is more advantageous than a quick-release product at this time of year.” Giroud follows this protocol for our late spring fertilizer applications.
The Bottom Line to Lawn Fungus
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to schedule an evaluation with your Giroud Lawn Care Specialist. Fungus diseases such as Brown Patch, Red Thread and Dollar Spot are often confused with drought, fertilizer burn, or insect or pet damage. Your Giroud Lawn Expert can give a proper diagnosis and determine the best course of action.
The good news is most lawn disease symptoms are temporary and fungicide use is usually not warranted. "Most lawn diseases will dissipate when weather conditions change," explains Giroud Lawn Care Manager, Mike Taraborrelli. "Giroud's fertilizer applications will help stimulate new growth and crowd out the fungus."
In severe cases, several properly timed fungicide applications may be necessary for effective disease suppression. It's important to note that Giroud treats only the specific problems that exist on your lawn. This targeted approach keeps your lawn healthy and eliminates unnecessary use of chemicals.
There are always preventative measures homeowners can take to avoid lawn fungus:
- Rake up leaves and other debris
- Keep your lawn mowed at 3”-4” tall
- Put your lawn on a healthy regimen of fertilizer treatments to promote new growth
- Aerate and Seed in the fall to prevent thatch
If you have any questions about your lawn, don’t hesitate to give Giroud a call at 215-682-7704. Inspections are always FREE!