Controlling lawn fungus is tricky business. One reason is that lawn disease outbreaks are generally sporadic (sorry for the pun) and therefore not commonly included with most lawn care service programs. However, when a lawn fungus is present, it spreads quickly with the right conditions and can devastate the lawn. Identification and accurate timing of controls is the key to a successful turf disease management strategy.
The “disease triangle” is the reason lawn fungus is not a rampant problem. All lawn fungi need three components to thrive: Host (turf grass), Pathogen (fungus), and Environment (moisture, thatch, poor soil conditions, etc.) An effective disease management program involves interrupting one or more of these elements. For example it could be killing the pathogen with fungicide, introducing a resistant grass type, fertilizing, aerating the thatch layer, and/or recalibrating the lawn irrigation system.
These are the five most common turf diseases we see in New Hampshire:
- Red Thread
- Dollar Spot
- Melting Out
- Snow Mold
Some might include Fairy Ring, which is a mushroom and cannot be mitigated with a turf care program. If you have Fairy Ring, it’s possible there is some wood buried underneath your lawn that it is growing in. We can, however, mask Fairy Ring with a strong fertilizer.
Once a lawn disease is established, it is easily transmitted through mower blades. If you have a lawn mowing service, seriously consider hiring us to provide your lawn maintenance program as well! We treat our mower decks and blades with a fungicide to prevent the spread of turf fungi. Although it’s not part of our 5-Step lawn care program, turf disease management falls within our IPM services. Our applicators are trained in the identification of turf diseases. They will immediately alert you of the problem and suggest a strategy to remedy it.