How to Keep Fungal Diseases Out of Your Lawn

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As much of an annoyance as lawn fungal diseases may be, they become an even greater problem when you realize just how difficult they are to get rid of and how obvious they are to onlookers. Once you begin developing brown patches and dollar spots, you need to take action immediately — and ideally, you’d address these issues before they ever get on your radar. Fungicide treatments are the best way to tackle fungal diseases that may impact your lawn, but it isn’t always easy to know when you should start considering these kinds of treatments.

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Brown Patch Fungus

If you have a fescue lawn, you may be at greater risk for brown patches once heat and humidity begin to be a problem (which is right around the time summer rolls around, mind you). The cause is a soil-borne fungus called Rhizoctonia solani, and it can lead to one of the most destructive and fast-acting lawn diseases around.

Initially, you’ll notice brown circles of dead grass. While heat and humidity cause the biggest issues, it’s actually the transitions between these conditions that are most destructive. Late spring and fall are times when your lawn will come in and out of dormancy and may be affected by brown patch.

Zoysia Patch

Rhizoctonia solani doesn’t just cause brown patch — it can also cause zoysia patch, which is a different fungal disease that impacts lawns. It’s also most apparent in the fall and spring and builds up in the lawn’s thatch, which is the undecomposed organic matter that sits above the soil line.

How to Treat Lawn Fungus

Once you’ve identified the type of fungus on your lawn, you can treat and control it with a few different practices, including good lawn care and a fungicide.

A good lawn care regimen is the perfect place to start when you want to prevent and minimize lawn fungus from occurring. It can be as simple as changing how you take care of your lawn. Here are five tips to follow to prevent and treat lawn fungus:

1. Water Early in the Day

Water your lawn early in the day, so it has time to dry thoroughly by nighttime. You’ll also want to avoid overwatering your grass so the roots don’t drown.


You can also improve your lawn’s drainage to avoid sitting water, which could eventually cause fungus problems.


2. Avoid Fertilizing in the Heat

When it’s hot and humid, it’s best to avoid fertilizing the lawn. Doing so in hot weather can burn the grass and encourage weed growth — which you want to avoid at all costs.

3. Circulate the Air

Another tip for controlling lawn fungus is making sure your lawn gets enough air circulation. When you aerate and dethatch the lawn, you reduce the humidity levels that cause fungal growth. Aerating your lawn only needs to happen once or twice a year. You can rent an aerator and do it yourself or hire a professional to ensure your lawn is properly aerated.

4. Mow Regularly

Mowing your grass can help control lawn fungus. When you mow, make sure the mower blades are sharp so they cut the grass blades effectively. Grass blades with clean cuts are less susceptible to fungal disease.

It’s also a good practice to keep the grass longer when you mow it. Cutting the blades too short encourages weed growth and causes the grass to focus on regrowing its edges instead of its roots.

5. Use a Fungicide

If changing your lawn care regimen isn’t enough, consider using a lawn fungus treatment such as a fungicide. Ensure you choose a fungicide made for the type of grass and fungus you have. Depending on the fungus, you may need a few more supplies to help with maintenance. 

While you can apply a fungicide yourself, it’s best to have a professional lawn care expert give their input. The expert can accurately diagnose the disease and offer the best lawn fungus control treatments to repair the spot. By hiring a professional, you know you’ll be getting the correct treatment.

Additional Measures

You’ve noticed discoloration on your lawn. Now what? Take more care with your watering, being sure to never overwater. In fact, you’re going to want to water infrequently but water deep when you do so, preferably in the morning. Mow your lawn regularly, but avoid doing so when the grass is still wet. 

Remove grass clippings and thatch as soon as you can. This helps increase air circulation and maintains the proper nitrogen levels for your lawn to thrive. If the condition worsens, contact a lawn specialist who can bring in a fungicide treatment to get the job done once and for all.

Contact OrganicLawns Today for Eco-Friendly Lawn Care!

Since 1996, OrganicLawns has earned a reputation for itself as the finest organic lawn care company Maryland has to offer. The only thing we value as much as following ethical and sustainable lawn care practices is our customers. Consider hiring us to service the lawn of your MD home. You can count on us to ensure you have a lush, green lawn and provide the highest standard of customer service.

If you are in search of reliable lawn care services in Maryland, contact OrganicLawns. We offer quality service and products at an unmatched price. Let us help you feel confident in your property. If you’re interested in having your lawn treated organically by a family-owned and operated local business, contact us for a free lawn estimate, or give us a call at 410.995.9722.

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