Cause and Prevention of Lawn Grass Disease

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Every lawn eventually becomes the victim of lawn grass disease from the well-manicured expanse of the golf course to the sometimes-neglected backyard. This problem is devastating for the landowner following a large investment in establishing and caring for his turfgrass. However, the destruction of lawn grass infection is not beyond repair. General Cause and Prevention Lawn diseases, like human diseases, infect susceptible hosts. Similarly, the identification of lawn diseases is difficult at times, because they do not always display distinct characteristics tending to manifest with the same symptoms. Grasses vary in their resistance to disease; however, when environmental conditions are favorable to specific pathogens, infection occurs. Proper watering, mowing, aeration, sunlight and fertilization help to prevent or control problems by providing a disease-resistant environment. High-Humidity Grass Diseases Brown Patch: This lawn grass disease commonly infects most grasses initially manifesting as a small patch of wet, dark grass before progressing to circular or horseshoe-shaped patches of brown grass encompassed by a yellowish ring. The patches rapidly expand, advancing in size up to several feet in width. According to American-Lawns.com, this disease thrives in daytime temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees and evening temperatures over 65 degrees. Brown Patch disease responds well to consistent fertilization, early morning watering, keeping the grass a bit high and bagging lawn clippings to prevent contamination of areas previously infected. Healthy grass subsequently returns upon elimination of the infection. Use of fungicide before infection occurs serves as a preventive measure. Dollar Spot: Dollar spot thrives in... ... middle of paper ... ...his disease. American-Lawns.com suggests controlling this disease by applying fungicide in October or early March after which a thorough watering is necessary. The arrival of warm weather kills the infected grass. Stripe Smut: This cool-weather lawn grass disease is generally not severe and thrives in temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees. It cannot appear in extended hot temperatures of about 90 degrees. Stripe Smut affects the growth of grass, causing lawns to appear patchy and uneven. Infected blades display yellowish-green streaks that eventually turn gray and black. The black streaks rupture, splitting the leaves and spilling out black powdery spores. John Swenson suggests impeding the progression of Stripe Smut by applying nitrogen and watering deeply, preferably in the morning. Severe cases, though rare, require the use of fungicide in late fall or early spring.

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