Common Lawn Diseases: Recognizing, Managing, and Restoring Your Lush Lawn

Common Lawn Diseases: Recognizing, Managing, and Restoring Your Lush Lawn

Maintaining a green, healthy, and luscious lawn can sometimes be challenged by common diseases that may emerge over time. Identifying these lawn diseases can be tricky, as they are often mistaken for other issues like poor growing conditions or environmental factors. However, with proper knowledge and prompt action, you can effectively recognize and address these diseases.

In this article, we will highlight five common lawn diseases, provide valuable management tips, and offer solutions to restore your lawn's vibrant appearance.

1. Rust:

Rust diseases, caused by various species of a common lawn fungus, give grass blades an orange-yellow, rusty appearance. They can affect a wide range of turfgrass species, including perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass (certain varieties), and zoysia grass. Maintaining your lawn through proper watering and fertilizing techniques can help prevent the occurrence of rust. If rust does appear, ensure adequate watering and fertilization. If improvement isn't observed within a couple of weeks, consider applying a systemic lawn fungus control product.

2. Powdery Mildew:

Powdery mildew, a fungal infection, typically affects shaded areas and weakened lawns. Enhancing air circulation by pruning back trees and shrubs can aid in preventing this disease. Additionally, following proper lawn care techniques such as adequate watering, mowing at the recommended height, and regular feeding can further mitigate the risk of powdery mildew.

3. Necrotic Ring Spot: 

Image courtesy of LawnSavers

Necrotic ring spot manifests as small, light-green spots that gradually form thinned circular patches ranging from 3" to 15" in diameter. These patches can expand up to 3 feet, eventually turning brown or straw-colored. Moist areas in spring serve as breeding grounds for this disease, but it may become apparent during the summer when heat and drought stress the infected roots. To reduce the chances of necrotic ring spot, avoid mowing the lawn too low and ensure there isn't excessive thatch buildup.

For more management tips on how to avoid this disease, courtesy of GreenCast, click here.

4. Dollar Spot:

Image courtesy of Garden Seeker

Dollar spot, characterized by small, round dead patches resembling coins on the lawn, often occurs in poorly nourished turf. This disease is more prevalent during the middle of spring and is exacerbated by dry soil conditions and insufficient turf nourishment. To aid in recovery after the dollar spot subsides, applying nitrogen to the affected areas is recommended. 

For more management tips on how to avoid this disease, courtesy of GreenCast, click here.

5. Snow Mould:

    Snow mould, a fungus that thrives when rapid thawing follows a cold spell, poses a challenge for lawns. The formation of warm, moist air pockets between the lawn and the snow crust creates an ideal environment for mould growth. Depending on the lawn type, snow mould can be pink or white and emits a distinct odor. If you cannot wait for it to clear on its own, carefully rake it up wearing gloves and dispose of it. To manage its growth before the spring season, rake up leaves on the lawn in the fall.

    By adhering to good mowing and watering practices and using a balanced fertilizer with adequate potassium and controlled nitrogen levels, you can proactively prevent lawn diseases.

    At Earth Smart Solutions we offer a super concentrated, premium quality natural fertilizer for seasonal lawn and turf grass care, ESLF - Natural Lawn Fertilizer. It is formulated formulated with complex carbohydrates, macro and micro nutrients, amino acids, enzymes, proteins, vitamins and minerals and also contains a variety of natural substances for soil and plant improvement.

    Learn more about ESLF here.


    Earth Smart Property Solutions, 5 Lawn Diseases to Watch Out For

    Greencast, Disease Guide, Dollar Spot

    Greencast, Disease Guide, Necrotic Ring Spot

    Garden Seeker, Dollar Spot Disease in Turf: How to Identify, Cure and Control it

    Garden Seeker, Lawn Rust Disease: How to Identify it, Treat it and Prevent it From Returning

    Nature’s Seed, How to Avoid Necrotic Ring Spot in Your Lawn Grass

    Scott’s, How to Identify and Control Rust in the Lawn

    Scott’s, How To Prevent & Deal With Mildew

    CBC Eyeopener Calgary, Beware smelly snow mold as your lawn thaws

    Government of Canada, Dealing with lawn problems 

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