Properly maintaining your lawn will help prevent many of the common types of lawn disease. So, we’ve created a guide to help you out.
What Is Lawn Disease?
Most lawn diseases are fungi that exist naturally in lawns, but spread and grow into a problem when the conditions are right.
Red thread, for example, likes to take root in lawns that lack nitrogen. Fertilising your lawn with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser will keep your lawn a healthy green colour. If there is a large patch of red in the grass, an application of fungicide and overseeding will help get rid of it to let the new green grass grow properly.
Using fungicide to treat the disease is useful, but prevention really is better than cure when it comes to lawn diseases. Proper lawn maintenance will help with this, involving the following:
Scarify Your Lawn
Thorough lawn maintenance will include scarification, which can help prevent a wide range of lawn diseases.
Scarification is also known as de-thatching, and involves removing dead moss and grass stalks (which will become thatch if left undisturbed) from your lawn. This layer of dead matter can prevent moisture getting to the roots of the grass, which can kill off the grass, leading to more thatch. In wet weather, the thatch layer can also contribute to the damp conditions in which lawn diseases thrive.
Removing the thatch from your lawn will leave it looking quite bare, but with reseeding and regular watering, it will bounce back healthier, greener, and stronger than ever. It’s a good idea to scarify and aerate your lawn every 2-3 years.
Aerate Your Lawn
After scarifying your lawn, you should leave it a few days and then aerate it. Aeration helps ensure good drainage, which will be very helpful to the grass remaining after scarification.
Lawn aeration involves spiking holes into your lawn. This loosens any compacted soil, improving drainage and allowing water to get to the roots of your grass. Improved drainage prevents waterlogging, and means that damp conditions on your lawn don’t last as long. This all works to prevent the kind of conditions in which fungus like fusarium patch disease.
Mow Your Lawn
When your lawn is growing well, it’s worth keeping the grass at a manageable height by mowing it. Mowing your lawn keeps the grass at the ideal height for photosynthesis and nutrient absorption, making it healthy enough to ward off diseases.
Make sure you keep the mower blades sharp, because blunt blades will smash the grass stalks rather than cut, which distresses the grass. Distressed grass is more susceptible to diseases, just like distressed humans, so keeping your mower blades sharp will mitigate this problem.
Set your mower to the right height too. Cutting the grass too low, known as scalping, can lead to dead patches of brown grass. Dead patches can be ripe breeding grounds for fungus and lawn diseases, unless you take preventative measures like overseeding and top-dressing.
Fertilise Your Lawn
To keep your lawn healthy, you should know when to fertilise your lawn. Enriching the soil with fertiliser will give the grass vital nutrients that it needs for photosynthesis.
Fertilising your lawn will also keep it healthy enough to prevent fungal infections taking root. The fungi that cause diseases like red thread or leaf blight require weak and unhealthy grass to grow properly. A properly-fertilised lawn will stop that in its tracks.
Lawn Fungus Treatment
Fungicide should only be applied if the disease has become a serious problem. Once it has done its work, you should then undertake the above tasks to prevent the fungus recurring in the future.
Scarifying, aerating, mowing, and fertilising your lawn will all help prevent lawn diseases. If you are concerned about the health of your lawn, please get in touch and we can organise a free survey to help you out.
Lawn Disease Protection