It’s October. Time to start picking out your Halloween costume, carve up pumpkins, and lazily spend Sundays watching football on the couch. But after a hot summer here in Florida, this is no time to stop thinking about your lawn care! Your lawn has probably suffered from heat and drought stress. During the fall, we often experience over saturation from tropical storms and hurricanes. These elements combined create the perfect combination for various types of fungus and lawn disease. Maintaining a healthy lawn with a comprehensive lawn care program can help but it’s important to recognize when a problem with your lawn is taking place. In this article, we discuss the common lawn diseases that can damage your Pensacola lawn and ways to help prevent them.
So What Are These Destructive Lawn Diseases?
Grey Leaf Spot
Grey Leaf Spot is one of several lawn diseases that prefer the wet, humid climate of northern Florida. It is caused by fungi and affects perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. It progresses rapidly and infects and kills leaf blades. You can identify it by the grey or tan spots on your leaves. As the disease spreads, it can infest your stems and spikes as well. A water-soaked border will be seen during high moisture periods around actively growing spots. It can weaken and kill your grass leaving your lawn fair game for other weeds and diseases. It typically appears in areas that have been moist for extended periods of time including deeply shaded areas under trees and fences. The best way to prevent this unsightly fungus from appearing in the first place is to avoid too much nitrogen, apply water early in the morning, and only when water is needed.
Brown patch is another turf killing fungus we have in Florida. It appears as large circular and irregular patches of dry dead grass. It often appears when the grass has been wet for a while or when temperatures drop below 68 degrees. Here in Florida, it is more common in the late fall and spring when our damp grass doesn’t have as much daylight to dry out. As it spreads, the infected grass will wither and die allowing weeds to quickly take over. It is a rapidly spreading disease and as it causes your lawn’s immune system to suffer, it opens it up to more attacks from other diseases, weeds, and pests. If you have brown patch on your lawn, you want to take care of it rather quickly.
There are ways to prevent brown patch from occurring in the first place. The key to preventing brown patch is with good lawn care practices. Because sitting moisture is what gives brown patch life, never over water your lawn. And always make sure your lawn is draining properly.
If the grass blades on your lawn begin to look as if they are covered with rust, you probably have rust fungus. Rust diseases on grasses are caused by a common lawn fungus. It appears as a yellowish-brown powder. It thrives when the temperatures are between 68 and 85 degrees and prefers shade, heat, and humidity, a perfect combination here in our northern Florida lawns. The powdery like substance is hard to miss because it often sticks to your shoes, lawn equipment, and your pet’s paws as they walk across your turf. You can help to prevent lawn rust by growing a thick, healthy turf. Fertilize with a nitrogen-based fertilizer and water for long periods of time at long intervals. Minimize the amount of shade your grass receives and rejuvenate your lawn once a year with aeration, which will help break up any thatch and assist with better drainage.
Another common Florida lawn disease is dollar spot. It first appears as small round patches of white, tan, or straw-colored patches about the size of a silver dollar coin. As it spreads, multiple dollar spots can merge together growing into larger spots. It starts out and becomes active in the spring when humidity is high and temperatures are above 70 degrees.
Like most of the above-mentioned diseases, dollar spot thrives in damp, warm areas of your lawn. When it comes to preventing dollar spot, try to minimize these conditions through proper irrigation. Try to water as early in the morning as possible (before sunrise) and minimize the amount of time your grass is wet. Be sure to have proper airflow throughout your turf to reduce the amount of humidity. Aeration is also a good method of preventing dollar spot because as with rust fungus, it will help to break up thatch and penetrate holes within your lawn increasing your air, nutrient, and water flow.
Lawn Master’s Professional Lawn Care Program Will Help Prevent Lawn Disease From Destroying Your Lawn
Here at Lawn Master, we offer a complete lawn care program designed with a balanced blend of fertilizer that will treat your specific type of grass. This special formula will help keep your lawn healthy and protect it from all of these lawn diseases and more. We also offer aeration to help penetrate your lawn’s root system and provide your roots with the necessary nutrients they need to remain healthy and durable. Don’t wait till it’s too late to save your lawn. Contact Lawn Master today for a free evaluation of your lawn. Fill out our form online or give us a call at 850-476-1601. Learn more about us by following us on our Facebook page and get more tips and ideas right at your fingertips! We hope to talk to you soon.