We’ve seen a few lawns with fungus growing in them lately so it seems a great time to provide some caution against unintentional contamination that could render all your efforts in maintaining your lawn useless by spreading a fungal disease.
What is a fungal disease?
A fungus is an organism that feeds on organic matter and comes in a variety of forms such as, moulds, mildews, rusts, yeasts and probably the best-known and most easily recognised, mushrooms. While there are certainly fungi that can be healthy to the ecosystem, the right conditions can cause grass fungus to flare up into a damaging disease which can be difficult to treat. You’ve likely seen some form of fungal infection, even if you didn’t recognise it at the time.
Common Signs of Fungal Infection in your lawn
Some of the most easily identifiable signs your lawn may be infected with a fungal disease include brown, yellow or white patches that continue to expand in circumference, grass blades or stems with coloured spots and areas that look wet or are a darker shade of green. Now, discolouration can of course be caused by other reasons such as the family dog, which is way it is important to property diagnose before determining any treatment plans.
Causes, Cures and Prevention
There are piles of spores and fungi that naturally inhabit your lawn and new funguses can find their way via wind and wildlife. Extreme weather conditions including drought and flooding also contribute to diseased lawns but some also come from sources over which you actually do have some control.
Be certain you have the right type of grass for your climate and soil conditions, and mow it properly. Among the worst things you can do are cutting grass with dull blades and mowing it too low, causing undue stress, weakening the whole system and making it ever more susceptible to diseases.
It is also important to keep the soil loose and dethatched and make sure you’re using the right type and application of fertiliser. Both over fertilising and under fertilising can promote different types of fungal infection. And most importantly, properly hydrate your lawn as overwatering dramatically compromises a healthy root system while nurturing disease.
The best practice is to water deeply, with less frequency for proper absorption and to encourage deep growth and stronger roots. Also make sure that lawn mowers, verticutters, aerators, boots and shoes are all clean before making contact with your lawn. Ensure that all contractors do the same to limit the possibility of contamination.