Lawn Care Tips

Lawn Triage — Insects or Fungus?

Diagnosing lawn issues before treatment

Before treating your lawn with chemicals it is important to make the right diagnosis. Is damage to your lawn being done by insects or fungus? Other problems with lawns can be caused by overwatering or improper application of fertilizer and pesticide but we will discuss those problems later.

How can I identify lawn fungus?

Fungus  problems are usually seen in the Spring and in the Fall.  Fungi are less active in the Summer because the temperatures in the Lowcountry are too high and heavy rains often wash mold spores away. Fungus damage can usually be found  in the shady or areas with poor air circulation. The damage is usually circular or rounded. (Summer  Patch, Brown Patch) Sometimes mold damage circles will collide creating a larger area. Check the grass leaves carefully and you might see circular shape dead areas. (Dollar Spot or Leaf Spot)

Be careful when watering, water at the right time

Improper irrigation is probably the leading cause of fungus damage in yards. Lawns should not be irrigated late in the day and at night. A well-established lawn does not need to be watered everyday.  We have frequent thunderstorms in the Summer and August is our highest rainfall month. Running irrigation in the summer may not be necessary for most lawns. Our warm season grasses are dormant in the winter and do not require irrigation at all. Running sprinklers in the winter can lead to root rot too.(Root Rot,Crown Rot)

Monitor your lawn carefully in Spring and Fall and if you see fungus starting to take hold and treat at once. Fungus can spread rapidly especially when night temperatures are warm. Fungicides can prevent further spread of the disease. Damaged areas can take up to 6 weeks to recover. If you have a history of lawn fungus problems, treat early or before you see a problem usually in September and October or March and April.   

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