Lush green lawn being trimmed with a lawnmower

Is Your Backyard a Likely Target for Lawn Fungi?

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Beautiful, well-manicured grass contributes to the overall appeal of your lawn. But when that same grass turns brown, red, or develops patches, it can have the opposite result. Your garden might be a victim of a fungal attack if these won’t go away.

The Different Types of Fungal Diseases

Your lawn is naturally full of spores and fungi. You need to look for harmful fungi that attack your grass and kills off your flora. How do you do it?

First, determine the type of grass growing in your backyard. Only certain types of grass are susceptible to several lawn fungi. Harmful fungi only prey on specific grass types because those types are the only varieties that allow them to thrive. Your grass is more likely to withstand fungal attacks if it’s suited to the climate, soil, and light conditions of your area.

Brown Patches – The fungal species Rhizoctonia causes dead, brown patches on your lawn. It affects tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, bent grasses, Kentucky bluegrass, and St. Augustine grass. These types of grass are the most susceptible to this fungal disease during the summer when the weather is hot and humid. It is a foliar disease, which harms the leaves but not its root system.

Leaf spots – Bipolaris sorokiniana causes leaf spots to spread. This disease makes brown, purple, and yellow spots appear on the leaf. If left untreated, the disease travels down to its roots to rot. It affects all types of turfgrass during the wet, warm summer months.

Necrotic Ring Spot – The fungal species Leptosphaeria korrae causes necrotic ring spots on your lawn. The fungi thrive in hot, drought conditions. Reddish-brown rings and black threads appear on the crown of your grass. It also infects the roots, which causes rough spots to appear on the surface of your lawn. It affects all types of turfgrass, red fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass.

Rust diseases – The fungal parasite Pucciniales causes rust disease on the grass. This disease affects Zoysia, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. Your lawn might look filled with light-green and yellow patches. But it’s actually orange-yellow rust spores that cover the individual grass blades. This fungal disease spreads around late summer and early fall in lawns that have poor ventilation.

Treatment and Maintenance

Brown patches caused by fungus

Fungal diseases only affect distinct types of grasses. If your lawn has different grass types, you don’t have to worry about fungal diseases spreading and killing your plants at once. With various grass types in your backyard, the worst you have to worry about is a brown patch.

If your lawn has one grass type, full maintenance is necessary if your yard has one grass type. Regular grass maintenance prevents fungal diseases from developing in the future. Keep your lawn nice and dry, as harmful lawn fungi depend on wet, moist grass to grow.

You should also ask your lawn care service to apply lawn fungicide to treat fungal diseases. The biological organism or chemical compound can kill all the fungi thriving in your backyard. But this substance is poisonous to your plants as well if sprayed in large amounts.

You can have a vibrant, healthy lawn free from fungal diseases by practicing regular grass maintenance. Knowing the type of grass growing in your yard also lets you know which fungi it’s susceptible to, making it easier for you to prevent fungal infections from spreading.

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