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Top 5 Lawn Diseases

Posted on: May 18th, 2017

Denver Lawn Care Considerations

Even the best cared for lawns can be vulnerable to lawn disease. Now that the weather is warming up, it’s a great time to understand and prevent the top 5 lawn diseases that impact lawns across the Front Range.

1. Ascochyta

In Colorado, ascochyta appears in the spring and summer months. The spring infections typically recover quickly in the cooler weather. In contrast, summer infections are slow to recover and may only do so with cooler fall temperatures and proper lawn care. The grass may appear dead, but roots will remain unharmed and only the grass blades are affected.

Areas affected by ascochyta can recover with proper watering and mowing techniques.

2. Necrotic Ring Spot

Necrotic ring spot (NRS) is a perennial fungal disease that attacks and kills grass roots and blades. Symptoms of NRS become apparent during the heat of the summer (late July-August.) You will first notice small, scattered, straw colored patches in your lawn.

Although NRS thrives in our arid climate and weather conditions, it can be controlled by the use of resistant grass varieties, good management practices and fungicide applications.

3. Fairy Ring

Fairy rings are caused by at least 60 different fungi, which range in size from a few inches to a few feet. There are three different types of fairy ring.

Fairy ring will generally occur when grass is under-fertilized or under-watered. Soils high in organic matter or areas with thick thatch are also prone to fairy rings. Adequate watering and a yearly aeration can help prevent the development of fairy ring.

4. Drought Stress

Summer will be here before you know it, and like any plant, grass reacts to the lack of moisture caused by the hot summer sun. As grass loses water, blades of grass become less rigid and wilt. One major sign of drought stress consists of crunchy tan or brown grass blades. To keep your lawn healthy during the dry summer months, water your lawn with at least one inch of water weekly.

5. Dollar Spot

Dollar spot is a lawn disease that creates circular patches on your lawn. The spots can be the size of a silver dollar and as the disease progresses, the patches can form into large, irregular colored spots. Affected grass blades will form a distinct bleached, hourglass-shaped lesion. A stressed lawn is more susceptible to this disease meaning proper lawn care is key to managing dollar spot.

If you believe your lawn has one of these lawn diseases, contact Swingle today for a no-cost evaluation with a lawn care expert.


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