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Lawn Disease Management

Lawn Treatment

Lawn Treatment

It’s important to keep your lawn disease free. Weather conditions can stress your lawn encouraging disease such as leaf spot, fusarium, snow mould and dollar spot. In any of these cases we’re prepared with a fungicide treatment which reduces the activity of the disease, allowing your lawn to recover.

Lawn disease comes in many forms, it’s generally caused by fungus which attacks the grass and deprives it of vital nutrients. Disease weakens the grass plant, causes discolouration and ultimately kills your lawn. Maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to prevent disease, it’s important to look at reducing the conditions which favour lawn disease.

  • Red Thread: Recognised by a pink/reddish tint on the grass, very fine needles can be seen protruding from the grass blades. In severe cases you’ll see pink mycelium, almost like small flocks of cotton wool. Although high humidity is the main cause of Red Thread, it can also be caused by a poor cutting regime, drought, thatch, compaction, or lack of feeding.
  • Microdochium Patch (Fusarium): This is another common lawn disease, seen mainly during Autumn and Winter. This cool weather disease enjoys persistent drizzle and foggy/misty conditions with low air movement. It appears in small, circular, yellow patches which can spread up to about 30cm in diameter. Once established, the patches turn a yellow/brown colour and in severe cases can kill the grass. When the disease becomes inactive, the area appears pale and straw-like. Lawns that have a high thatch layer and poor drainage, are most susceptible to this disease.
  • Leaf Spot: Leaf Spot is a very common lawn disease that affects lawns across the UK. It can also be known as leaf blight or net blotch. The disease can be caused by numerous different fungi and spreads rapidly. Warm and humid weather conditions are favoured by this disease and spores of the fungi are disseminated by water splash. A stressed plant is more likely to be affected than a healthy one, so ensuring the grass is well fed and watered will help. Also ensure your mower blades are sharp and do not cut the grass too short. If the lawn suffers from thatch, consider having machine work - Aeration and Scarification will help to keep the sward healthy, thus reducing the likelihood of disease.
  • Dollar spot: It was always thought that this disease was not found extensively in the UK, however reports are indicating that it is more prevalent than first thought. The fungus that causes this disease is known as Sclerotinia homoeocarpa. Patches are usually very distinctive and often circular, and can coalesce to form large affected areas. Within the patches, dead grass is bleached white or straw coloured and they may also be sunken. Conditions which favour this disease are warm and humid, plus heavy dews and low nitrogen nutritional levels. The disease also favours certain grass species such as slender or creeping red fescues. It has also been identified on many other species, but these seem to be the most susceptible. The best advice is to cut the grass regularly at a high setting with a sharp blade, ensuring that there is not a lot of thatch present in the turf surface. The best results are always achieved when the turf surface is kept dry so Aeration may also play an important role.
  • Snow Mould: Very closely related to Microdochium Patch (Fusarium) is Snow Mould, another cool weather disease that thrives in lawns with poor air circulation. This fungal disease spreads rapidly during cool weather, especially under a blanket of snow, where there is no air circulation. When snow settles on a lawn for any length of time, it incubates the disease which can only be seen once the snow has melted. The fungus produces white, dish-like patches which, in severe cases, can turn pink. It is not possible to keep snow from the lawn so be prepared to deal with this once the snow has melted. What will help is to get the air moving in the lawn as quickly as possible so a Hollow-Tine Aeration can help, along with an application of a micronutrient to help the grass.

Lawn Disease Management is included in our Ultimate Programme but is also available as a separate treatment to any of our customers on our Standard or Basic Programmes.

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