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We work so hard to maintain and care for our lawns that when our yard gets sick, we want to find a quick solution.
Though we can work to fight off disease in our lawns with proper lawn care practices, sometimes this naturally occurring problem can arise regardless of our efforts. Lucky for us, we have lawn fungicides that can fight off these diseases and save our lawns when standard procedure fails.
You can learn a bit more about the science behind fungicides here:
Fungicides, also known as antimycotic, are toxic substances used to eliminate fungi by inhibiting growth and killing the fungal invader.
Fungicides are typically used on crops, plants, and lawns to control parasitic fungi that can damage plants and endanger humans and animals.
So, how do you know your lawn is infected with fungus?
First, do know how to identify lawn fungus?
If not, How To with Doc made a useful video demonstrating how to identify some lawn fungus and how to tackle the problem.
He offers some valuable tips on how to discover and confirm that your lawn does indeed have a fungus problem. If you’re curious, give this video a quick watch!
Here are some other ways you can tell if your lawn is diseased.
- Discoloration and brown spots – if you notice that your lawn has unsightly brown spots that weren’t there last season, you likely have a fungus (or dog urine) problem. Your lawn can exhibit other discolorations that are also indicators of fungus; spots on leaves, powdery blotches, and discolored streaks.
- Slimy areas – a diseased lawn can grow a form of algae that will make it slippery and slimy feeling. If you discover this in your grass, it’s likely a sign your yard is sick.
- Mushrooms – I think we all know that a mushroom is a fungus and a yummy one at that, but it’s usually not so good when it’s growing in your lawn. If you see mushrooms growing where they shouldn’t, you have a fungus problem. They sometimes form rings too, so keep an eye out for that.
OK, you have a fungus, now what?
Once you identify a fungus problem in your lawn, the obvious next step is to start working to combat the issue. This is where fungicides come in.
If you’re not familiar with how or when to apply fungicides or which one to use for your problem, the following video should help.
This video by DoMyOwn discusses the best way to apply fungicides, how often you’ll need to apply (and when ) once the disease has been discovered, and how various fungicides work in your lawn.
So, the big question, when should you apply a fungicide?
This is a rather broad question because it’s partially dependent upon whether you have a fungus problem or not.
You can apply fungicide at any time, however, depending on what problem your lawn is facing will depend on how you approach the disease.
Before you get too gung-ho about spending the time and money applying fungicide to your lawn, you will want to make sure your yard is in-fact diseased.
Pay close attention to the list mentioned above that discusses some of the identifiers that let you know you have fungus in your yard.
Once you have solidly confirmed that your lawn is in-fact diseased and needing a fungicide, then you can start treatment.
Many fungicides on the market can be applied using several methods, and that will combat multiple infections.
I generally prefer to apply the application via a powered sprayer as it helps with consistency. Here are some ideas if you need help choosing a model.
Like I’ve said many, many times – pay attention to is what the label says.
As with every other product you take off a shelf that contains chemicals, you want to make sure you’re getting the right stuff for the job and that the warnings on the label are things you can adhere to.
After you have the correct fungicide to take on the job, you will want to follow the application instructions on the bottle or bag.
One of the key things to keep in mind when you’re applying a fungicide is not to overdo it. You can over-apply fungicide and end up killing more than the fungus. So, pay attention to the label. If anything, it’s better to under apply the application than overdo it and ruin your lawn.
Please also remember to wear your PPE when applying.
Now that we know about the problem, what can you do to prevent lawn diseases, so you don’t have to deal with fungicides in the future?
Here are 4 ways you can help your lawn stay healthy and disease-free.
- Don’t overwater! Most fungi love moisture and thrive in a consistently damp environment. If you water your lawn more often than necessary, you may be creating an optimal growing environment for fungus. Also, don’t water in the late evenings and let the water sit on the grass overnight.
- Maintain grass length! Allowing your lawn to grow, and get taller than it should is another way you can facilitate fungus growth. An uncut lawn holds more moisture and doesn’t dry near the roots; a fungus can grow and ruin your yard.
- Don’t fertilize during warm months! Fertilizers applied during the dry months can, in a sense, lower your yards immune system and make it more susceptible to disease. Make sure you know when the best time to fertilize your lawn is before you start.
- Add organic compost! Compost is a natural fertilizer and will help give your lawn the healthy bacteria it needs to fight off infection. Helping your lawn stay healthy with compost can save you from fungus later on.
Working hard to prevent fungus will save you from all that work and money later down the road.
So, do yourself a favor and do what you can to take care of your lawn so it stays healthy and doesn’t get “sick”.