While weeds and pests may be the main thing you watch out for this spring, you should also be on the lookout for lawn diseases. The warm and wet weather of spring creates ideal conditions for many of the common lawn diseases in Virginia. At NuLeaf, we like to keep our community informed about risks to their lawn and what they can do to prevent them. Here is a list of the most common types of lawn diseases we have come across in Virginia.
Brown patch appears in circles of brown or tan ranging from just a few inches to several feet in width. Brown patch can grow when hot, humid conditions persist overnight. Other contributing factors include soil compaction, poor drainage, watering too much, and watering too in the late afternoon. Brown patch will weaken and eventually kill your grass, making it easy for weeds and pests to take over. The damage left behind can take weeks or months to repair. Preventing brown patch is as easy as overseeding with different varieties of grass and ensuring your grass dries out before the sun sets.
Dollar spot is another lawn disease caused by overwatering or poor soil drainage. Dollar spot appears as bleached areas of grass that grow in size and merge with other spots. Grass affected with dollar spot looks wet with yellow spots ringed in reddish-brown. Symptoms might not appear until the early summer so it’s best to establish a good watering habit or get an automatic sprinkler system with a timer. Dollar spot affects perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, centipede grass, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, Zoysia grass, and Bermudagrass.
Red thread attacks grass from early to late spring and again from late summer into fall. Perennial ryegrass and fine fescue are the prime targets for red thread, but it can affect bluegrasses and bentgrasses as well. The disease is characterized by reddish-pink threads that form on the blades of your grass. This can stick to your mower, shows, and tools and can be used to spread to other parts of your lawn. Red thread is prevalent in wet spring temperatures, in shady areas, and areas with poor air circulation. To control red thread, remove infected lawn clippings and fertilize with products high in nitrogen. Aerate compacted soil to remove thatch and improve air circulation.
Necrotic Ring Spot
Also called fusarium blight, necrotic ring spot is an aggressive disease that attacks the roots and crowns of cool-season grasses such as ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and the fescues. It appears as light green spots on the grass that range from several inches to several feet in width. Affected grass on the outer edge of the patch begins to die while the grass in the center remains green, giving it a frog eye or donut appearance. A pink layer of fungus can be seen near the soil line. Fusarium blight is common in areas that have been stressed from drought and in areas in full sun. Follow proper irrigation and fertilization practices and get your lawn aerated regularly.
Get Professional Lawn Care From NuLeaf
Before you know it the grass will be green again and it will be time to start your lawn care routine all over again. Why not take a break this year and let the pros at NuLeaf take care of your lawn in 2021. You deserve to take some time off and spend it with your friends and family. Our lawn care program will put you at ease and prove to you that your yard is in good hands.