Common Lawn Diseases Keeping Them At Bay

While your grass may look green and beautiful from a distance, there could be disease lurking beneath the surface. Most lawn diseases become evident through the summer months, but some will start to show in the spring. Here are some common diseases and the best methods for keeping them at bay.

Leaf Spot
Leaf Spot is one of the most common Southern Ontario lawn diseases because of our humid spring and summers. It starts out as small purplish spots on the grass blades and then spreads to turn the entire blade and stalk almost into straw. It seems to affect lawns that have been fertilized but then didn’t receive enough water to wash the fertilizer off the leaves and into the soil, as well as lawns that are mowed too short. It also seems to affect Kentucky Bluegrass more than other types of Ontario grasses.

Fusarium Patch
Fusarium Patch lawn disease is caused by a fungus that grows in cool and wet temperatures, often at the beginning of spring or during the fall. It starts out as small brownish spots in the grass which can grow as large as 10 inches in diameter. The colour also changes as the spots grow, with the grass turning white, with a pinkish edge, then eventually killing the grass so it appears brown. Fusarium Patch can also lead to Pink Snow Mold appearing in the spring if discovered in the fall.

Ring Patch
Ring patch diseases can be caused by spores or fungus and have distinct ring patterns, and can have dead grass on the inside or outside of the grass, creating large, donut-shaped spots on your lawn.
Diseases such as Leaf Spot and Fusarium Patch, as well as Ring Patch diseases, can be avoided if you have good lawn care practices:

Mowing
Keep your grass at least 3” in length, cutting off no more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one mowing. This keeps the soil shadowed, enabling it to retain more nutrients and moisture and lush grass has a thick, healthy root system keeping diseases and weeds at bay.

Dethatching and Aeration
If you have an issue with your soil being too wet, dethatching and aeration will help with drainage issues. This will help to keep the pH levels of your soil at the right balance for healthy plant growth and will allow oxygen to penetrate the soil.

Irrigation
Keeping your lawn properly watered can be tricky. People either water too much, or water too little. It can be a pain if you are using a regular sprinkler since you have to keep track of how long it has sat on one area of your lawn before having to go out and move it to another area. Installing an inground sprinkler system is a great way to ensure your lawn is getting the proper amount of water at just the right time. This can save you time and money, since the timer will turn it on and off and will water your entire yard at once, keeping your soil moist and your grass healthy, avoiding lawn disease.