The Worst lawn Diseases & how to avoid them

Fungi cause more harm to plants than any other organism and the fact is, these fungi are everywhere. The reason that plants aren’t constantly dying from these diseases is because of the beneficial microbes in the soil out-competing the bad ones. Here are three diseases you want to avoid in Kingston Ontario in 2022.

Summer patch

This disease affects bluegrass and fine fescues, it begins infecting roots in the spring but visible symptoms occur in the summer. It appears as irregular straw-coloured patches killing turf blades from the tip down.

Avoid over-fertilization and overwatering, this disease becomes its worst when soil is lacking oxygen. Raising the mower blade will help with this disease as with all turf stresses.

Brown patch

This is the most common lawn disease affecting ryegrass, bluegrass, and tall fescue. This disease can start causing damage around 15°C but really starts to cause major damage in the heat around 27°C.

This foliar disease produces large tan lesions on the grass blades in circular patches up to several feet wide.

If you think you have this disease avoid excess nitrogen fertilization and daily watering.

Pythium blight

Probably the worst lawn disease to encounter because it can destroy a lawn in a day. It affects all cool-season turf varieties in the summer. This disease is at its worst on humid cloudy days that exceed 26°C. The grass leaves become greasy, reddish-brown, and then eventually straw-coloured.

Like most diseases, pythium is exaggerated by excess nitrogen fertilizer and poor drainage, so avoid fertilizing with synthetic and overwatering the area.

Wrapping up

A list of all the diseases that can affect turf would fill a book. Luckily, most diseases occur from poor management strategies. One of the most common reasons for these diseases wiping out entire lawns is excess fertilizer, which is only realistically possible with synthetic fertilizer. Low mowing and daily hand watering are the two additional culprits accelerating these diseases.

If you want to avoid these lawn disease problems, fertilize with organic, raise your mower deck, and water deeply but infrequently.

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