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Sometimes bad things happen even to the healthiest lawns. Lawn Diseases are one of those things. With proper fertilizing and water habits most turf diseases can be cured. Watering should only be done in the morning and early afternoon to allow the soil to dry before night comes. In extreme cases treatment can be done to control lawn diseases.
Brown patch is most severe during extended periods of hot, humid weather. Brown patch appears as roughly circular patches that are brown, tan, or yellow in color and range from 6” to several feet in diameter. Brown patch is particularly severe in turf that has been fertilized with excessive nitrogen. Good surface and soil drainage will also help reduce the incidence of brown patch. Avoiding prolonged periods of leaf wetness will drastically reduce the severity of brown patch. Leaf wetness can originate from irrigation, dew, or guttation (which is the water that is sometimes exuded from turfgrass leaves during the night). To minimize leaf wetness, do not irrigate daily.
Rust appears as an orange or yellowish-orange powder (spores) on grass leaf blades, especially in late summer to early fall when the weather is dry. Cool nights with heavy dew and light, frequent rainfall add to the ideal conditions for rust to develop. Warm, cloudy, humid weather followed by hot, sunny weather also favors rust development on lawns. Additional nitrogen treatments can help the lawn. Maintain lawns through sound watering, mowing, and fertilizing. Water early in the day so the grass dries quickly.
Dollar spot is a common foliar disease that occurs on most types of turfgrasses. Maintain adequate to high nitrogen fertility. Light, frequent applications will reduce disease severity and promote recovery. Water deeply and infrequently. Do not allow moisture stress to occur.
Leaf spot can be found on most home lawns in the spring, and it can damage newly seeded lawns and certain susceptible cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass. leaf spot and melting-out develops in late March through mid to late May, reoccurring in the fall. Infected plants initially develop small elliptical purple leaf spots. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization in spring that favors lush growth, but do not “starve” the turfgrass of nitrogen during the spring. A well-balanced fertilization program will reduce the severity of the disease.
Like all diseases, curing is best done with proper fertilizing and culture practices. Fungicides can be applied, but only after proper cultural practices are in place.