Because you can’t control the weather—or the type of grass you have—control your lawn’s environment through proper mowing and watering techniques to keep lawn disease at bay. The goal is to increase your lawn’s health and strength so you can get back to relaxing outside—lawn fungus-free.
Cultural Control for Lawn Diseases
While lawn fungus is a relatively minor problem, dead grass on your lawn is not. Every action you take has an impact on your lawn’s health, from fertilizing to choosing a disease-tolerant or disease-resistant species of turf grass. For cool-season grasses, plant mixtures of different species. For warm-season grasses, mixing species isn’t possible, so picking the right turf grass for your region is critical.
Another good example of cultural control can be found in lawn diseases requiring excess water to develop. Reduce free water by decreasing the amount and frequency of watering, improving drainage and air movement and reducing thatch and shade so excess water and dew are both absorbed by the soil and evaporated to the air quicker.
Lawn Mowing Tips to Reduce Lawn Fungus
Even when done properly, mowing stresses a lawn. When done improperly, it’s the most potentially damaging aspect of lawn maintenance. A lawn’s tolerance for disease is lowered—or even eliminated—by low-cutting or scalping your lawn. To help prevent lawn diseases like Brown Spot and Red Thread:
- Mow at the correct height and frequency with sharp blades
- Don’t mow when your grass is wet or under drought stress
- Always return grass clippings to the lawn (grasscycle)
Water Management Tips to Control Lawn Diseases
The two main types of lawn diseases are foliar and root. Foliar diseases attack grass leaves, and root diseases attack root systems—some diseases attack both. To reduce root diseases:
- Don’t allow your turf grass to become stressed with too much moisture
- Water thoroughly and deeply—but not too frequently—to encourage deep rooting
- Use a turf syringe during the day to cool the root zone in severe cases
Foliar diseases need extreme humidity and/or free water on the leaf to begin infections. Dew—and how long it stays on the leaf—is a critical factor. Dew forms based on temperature, air movement and humidity, so decrease shade to speed up your lawn’s morning drying time.
Yards with large trees on the eastern side of the property cause the western lawn to dry out more slowly, making them more susceptible to foliar lawn diseases. To reduce foliar diseases, water early in the morning, avoid overwatering and reduce shade by pruning tree limbs.