With the unusual amount of rainfall and hot, humid conditions, many lawns are experiencing disease problems. Turf diseases usually are a result of changing environmental conditions and can affect even very healthy lawns.
When temperatures and weather patterns change and fungal spores are present in your lawn, a very quick, dramatic result can occur. Over-night, a seemingly healthy, vigorous lawn can develop spots, discolorations and significant damage. The most common diseases that affect lawns in the Midwest and East are leaf spot, dollar spot, brown patch, and patch disease.
These diseases will affect northern species of grass, including bluegrass, rye grass, tall fescue, and fine fescue. In most cases, careful management of a home owner’s cultural practices coupled with a solid lawn care maintenance program will correct these diseases over a couple of weeks. The critical cultural practices by the homeowner to optimize results in the summer are as follows:
Mow high during the summer months to encourage deeper roots and reduce stress on grass. Irrigate the lawn 1” per week. Preferred irrigation is ½” per zone every 2 to 3 days. Avoid watering late in the day or at night. Watering early in the morning is best to cool the grass and allow it to dry out by late afternoon. Additional moisture on the grass overnight stimulates disease activity. Do not mow off more than a third of the grass plant at any time. Mowing short or scalping the lawn creates heat stress and exposes the sensitive grass crown. Under normal circumstances, mulching your grass clippings is desirable. However, when disease is present, bag your clippings to remove the diseased tissue and reduce the spreading of the fungal spores. Make sure any remedy you apply yourself doesn’t harm your lawn more than it already is. Remember, unnecessary or inappropriate products are not only expensive and potentially damaging to your lawn, they are also being distributed into our streams, rivers, lakes, the water supply, and the environment.
A NexGreen lawn care program improves plant health and defends against summer disease. NexGreen’s bio-nutrient supplements will strengthen the cell wall of the grass and aid in naturally resisting diseases, helping it to be green, lush, and beautiful as well as successfully enduring the stresses of summer.