It can be frustrating to see brown spots in what would otherwise be a beautiful green stretch of grass in your lawn. Large patch fungus is one of the most destructive of all lawn diseases. It sneaks up on you and destroys large areas of your lawn virtually overnight when the weather conditions are just right. Large patch fungus can take hold of your lawn during humid, hot weather and is caused by a single species of fungus called Rhizoctonia. The most active growth of large patch fungus occurs at temperatures of 80-85° when humidity levels are very high.
Your lawn is naturally full of fungi, some harmless and some problematic, but the right conditions can cause fungus to turn into a harmful disease. The most common causes of a lawn fungal disease are:
- Improper mowing (especially mowing too low)
- Compacted soil
- Over fertilizing
- Weather conditions (particularly temperature and humidity)
Fortunately, there are several lawn care practices that will go a long way toward prevention and treatment of large patch fungus. There are times when Mother Nature may deliver a humid spring or a summer heat wave, which is out of our control and makes it difficult to control large patch fungus. However, the better you care for your grass the better your grass will be able to handle these conditions. Use the following tips to help take control of large patch fungus in your lawn:
- Aerate: Loosen the soil in your lawn by aerating it every year or two.
- Test Your Soil: A soil test will identify nutrient deficiencies in your lawn that lead to stress and disease.
- Dethatch: Remove thick buildups of thatch in your lawn to allow your soil to breathe
- Proper Watering: You should water early in the morning, to allow the grass blades to dry during the say. Use a rain gauge to keep track of how much water your lawn is getting; typically, your lawn should get one inch of water per week. Do NOT overwater.
Learn more about your grass and keeping your lawn healthy and green. At Trad’s Garden Center & Pest Control, we take large patch fungus seriously because we know the damage it can cause. If you ever suspect this disease of infecting your turf, please contact us for more information.