No lawn is immune to fungal disease. Assuming your lawn consists of natural grass, it may become the target of a disease-causing fungus.
By familiarizing yourself with the four following fungal diseases, you’ll be able to maintain a healthier lawn.
#1) Necrotic Ring Spot
Caused by the fungus Ophiosphaerella korrae, necrotic ring spot is an all-too-common fungal disease that affects turfgrasses. It receives its namesake from its characteristic ring-shaped pattern of brown and dead grass.
When a lawn is infected with the Ophiosphaerella korrae fungus, it will develop these ring-shaped patterns. And if left untreated, the fungal infection will quickly spread while destroying large sections of grass in the process.
#2) Red Thread Disease
Another common fungal disease affecting lawns is red thread disease. It’s caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis, which creates the appearance of thin, reddish-colored lines in infected lawns.
Like necrotic ring spot, red thread disease primarily affects turfgrasses, some of which include annual bluegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, creeping bluegrass and bermudagrass.
When a lawn is infected with red thread disease, it will develop these discolored patches, most of which measure about 2 to 24 inches in diameter.
#3) Brown Patch Disease
Brown patch disease is a common fungal disease caused by the Rhizoctonia fungus. It’s similar to necrotic ring spot in that it manifests as ring-shaped patterns.
Brown patch disease often occurs as a result of overwatering and/or poor runoff. If your lawn is exposed to significant rainfall – and it’s not properly graded to ensure proper runoff – the wet conditions will serve as an ideal environment for the Rhizoctonia fungus.
#4) Pythium Disease
Also known as cottony blight or grease spot disease, pythium disease is yet another common fungal disease that affects turfgrasses. When compared to other fungal diseases, however, it’s arguably the most destructive.
Depending on the conditions, pythium disease can kill large sections of turfgrass in as little as a few days.
Pythium disease manifests as irregularly shaped patches measuring about 0.5 to 4 inches in diameter. If left untreated, the patches will spread while gradually joining together in the process.
As a homeowner, you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the symptoms of fungal disease.
Whether your lawn is infected with necrotic ring spot, red thread disease, brown patch disease or pythium disease, the problem won’t go away on its own. You must take action to control and manage the infection to prevent it from spreading.
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