Michigan winters are harsh and wreak havoc on our soil its nutrient levels. When soil isn’t healthy or weather conditions take extreme turns, it’s very easy for turf disease to creep in. Without knowing what you’re dealing with or how to treat it, these diseases can destroy your garden and make it difficult for grass to recover. Here are some of the usual suspects to watch out for if you suspect you have turf disease.
Turf Disease Identification
As the name suggests, this disease occurs in winter. Normally, the ground has experienced frost before the first snows, and so the grass is prepared for the winter days ahead. However, if snow falls on the ground that is still warm, this creates the ideal place for bacteria, mold, and fungi to thrive. Usually, snow mold occurs when warm autumn days extend late into the season. When the snowfall covers this warmer ground, it insulates and builds up moisture. You’ll recognize snow mold once spring arrives, and fuzzy pink or gray patches cover your lawn. Treatment for this turf disease includes good thatching, aeration, and fertilizer application. Overseeding may be needed depending on the extent of the damage. Snow mold can be confused with other winterkill problems like temperature damage or desiccation, so be sure to ask a lawn care professional before treating it.
Red Thread takes its name from the vine-like antler growths it produces. This fungus doesn’t actually harm the roots or leaves of the turfgrass. However, it does create unsightly patches. Thankfully, chemical control options aren’t necessarily needed. Since it doesn’t harm the grass, you can trim it back and apply certain fertilizers to keep it from cropping up in the future.
Necrotic Ring is a perennial turf disease that develops in late summer and results in ring-like patches of dead grass. Unlike Red Thread, Necrotic Ring does affect the roots and leaves of the plant, as it is of the fungal variety. And it can be tricky to eradicate since it is a perennial. However, a good fungicide application and proper lawn care should take care of it.
Dollar Spot turf disease causes white lesions on blades of grass that start at the leaf tip and move downwards. Usually, these lesions are surrounded by a brown border. The disease will cluster out into small areas about the size of a half-dollar coin, and the area will appear sunken compared to the healthy grass surrounding it. There are three reasons your lawn may have this problem, and all of them are easy to remedy. First, check your mower height. If you’re mowing too close to the soil, short lawns will retain moisture, which provides the ideal environment for pathogens. Second, consider a fertilizer. Undernourished lawns are more likely to catch Dollar Spot. Lastly, look for any other ways excess moisture persists on your lawn. Letting leaves pile up or leaving too many grass clippings are common culprits.
Leaf Spot Disease
Unlike Dollar Spot, Leaf Spot creates dark, black lesions on the leaves of trees and shrubs. These dark patches prevent photosynthesis from occurring, thus starving the plant of nutrients. While most Leaf Spot only affects a small part of the plant, you should look for treatment solutions if you notice a significant leaf loss over multiple years. Be sure to rake up excess leaves, don’t crowd plants in your garden, and, as always, make sure to prevent excess moisture from accumulating. Like the other turf diseases, Leaf Spot is caused by a member of the fungus family and can be treated with a fungicide.
Need Turf Disease Treatment? Call The Experts At Grosse Ile Lawn Sprinkler & Fertilizer
Mold, mildew, and fungi don’t stand a chance against the experts at Grosse Ile Lawn Sprinkler & Fertilizer. Our team of lawn care professionals will quickly diagnose the turf diseases plaguing your lawn, treat them, and take measures to prevent future outbreaks. Call 734-285-4470 or contact us online to get your lawn on the road to recovery. For more info and lawn care tips, be sure to follow our blog.