Spring Touch Lawn Disease Control Spring Touch Lawn & Pest Control

Lawn Disease Control

Turfgrass is susceptible to many different types of diseases and once established, these diseases can be devastating. The best way to prevent disease is by maintaining a healthy lawn, being careful not to over-water and watering at the correct time of day. Maintaining healthy, attractive lawns takes hard work and management practices that reduce the likelihood of disease. Below you will find a list of common lawn diseases that Spring Touch can treat. If your lawn is suffering from any of these diseases, please call our office or click "Get an Instant Quote" to receive pricing for your lawn.

Click on the links below to find out more about these diseases:

Powdery Mildew
Powdery Mildew Description: Grass looks as though it is sprinkled with flour. Kentucky bluegrass and shade areas are the most susceptible. Grass will wither and die as a result.

  • First appears on the leaves as individual tufts of fine, white mycelium.
  • The tufts enlarge and coalesce, causing the leaves to have a grayish-white or powdery appearance.
  • Severely infected turns yellow, then tan and brown in color.
  • Stressed turf that is severely infected can die.
  • Severely infected turf, especially in shaded areas, can become thinned.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Favored by humid, cloudy weather with temperatures between 60°F and 72°F.
  • Occurs in areas under stress.
  • Low light and high humidity.
  • Common in areas with poor air circulation, but does not require a film of water to infect turf.

Brown Patches Disease
Brown Patches Disease Description: Brown patch commonly starts as a small spot and can quickly spread outwards in a circular or horseshoe pattern up to a couple of feet wide. Often times while expanding outwards the inside of the circle will recover, leaving the brown areas resembling a smoke-ring.

  • Rings or patches of blighted turfgrass that measure 5 inches to more than 10 feet in diameter.
  • Leaf spots and "smoke rings" - thin, brown borders around the diseased patches that appear most frequently in the early morning.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Active at cool temperatures on warm-season grasses in the spring and fall (over 85°F during the day and over 60°F at night.)
  • Occurs in areas that experience extended periods of wetness.

Mushrooms Description: Lawn mushrooms are simply the product of fungi infested in your yard's soil. They are actually the fruit of this fungus, and feed off different sources that could be present. Lawn mushrooms feed off decaying matter.

In addition to Fairy Rings, various other mushrooms may appear in lawns, but don't injure the grass. However they may be unsightly and cause people to worry that children or pets may eat them. Some lawn mushrooms are poisonous to very poisonous others are not poisonous. There is no way to distinguish poisonous from non-poisonous except by correct identification as the genus and species.

There is no easy control for lawn mushrooms, which appear whenever there is an extended rainy period. These mushrooms grow an organic matter (including thatch) and decaying wood. Where possible, the removal of buried wooden scraps and old stumps will reduce greatly their food source and the number of mushrooms in future years. Mushrooms that do appear can be raked up and destroyed, minimizing danger to children or pets.

Snow Mold
Snow Mold Description: Snow mold is most common to Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescues in regions where snow falls and sits on the lawn for extended period of time.

Microdochium Patch (Pink Snow Mold)
  • Yellow, tan, or salmon-colored water-soaked patches that measure 1 to 8 inches or more in diameter.
  • Pale pink around the edges.
  • Spores are produced in white or salmon-colored sporodochia that are found on the dead tissue.
  • Blighting can occur in streaks from spores tracking on the equipment wheels.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Favors temperatures of less than 60°F.
  • More severe where has fallen on unfrozen soil or in cold, rainy weather.
  • Microdochium nivale is commonly called Fusarium patches in the absence of snow cover - but the casual organism is the same.

Leaf Spot/Melting Out
Leaf Spot/Melting Out Symptoms:
  • Purplish-brown to black spots with tan centers on the leaf blade and sheath.
  • Lower leaves of infected plants become shriveled and blighted.
  • In severe cases, almost all of the leaves and tillers die.
  • Typically follows the appearance of leaf spots on cool-weather turfgrass.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Temperatures between 40°F and 80°F.
  • Areas with 10 hours a day of foliar wetness for several consecutive days.
  • High amounts of nitrogen and a low mowing height.

Red Thread and Pink Patch
Red Thread and Pink Patch Symptoms:
  • Patches that are reddish-brown in color and 1 to 4 inches in diameter up to 2 feet.
  • Causes a gelatinous mass of pink mycelium with water-soaked leaves.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Temperatures between 40°F and 85°F and in locations that are low in nitrogen.
  • Areas that experience more than 10 hours a day of foliar wetness for several consecutive days.
  • Pink patch usually develops in the presence of red thread.
  • The two diseases often occur under the same conditions and at the same times.

Fairy Ring
Fairy Ring Symptoms:
  • Symptoms vary with casual agents.
  • Aboveground mushroom and puff ball basidiocarps may or may not occur
  • Typically has outer rings that are either dark-green or brown in color
  • Shape and size rings vary depending on the species.
  • Activity in turf ceases when the individual rings come in contact with each other.
  • Some casual agents form fruiting bodies, but not rings and vice versa.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Typically occurs in the summer.
  • Can also occur on cool-season turfgrass in mild winter climates.

Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa)
Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa) Symptoms:
  • Sunken, circular patches that measure several inches.
  • Patches turn from brown to straw color and may eventually coalesce, forming irregularly shaped areas.
  • May display small lesions that turn from yellow-green to straw color with a reddish-brown border.
  • Lesions can extend the full width of the leaf.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Continuous high humidity at temperatures between 59°F to 86°F.
  • Favored by warm days, cool nights, and intense dews.
  • Infects areas with low levels of nitrogen.
  • More severe in dry soils.

Rusts: Crown, Leaf, Stem, and Stripe
Rusts: Crown, Leaf, Stem, and Stripe
Crown - Puccinia coronate
Leaf - Uromyces dactylidis
Stem (Black) - Puccinia graminis
Stripe (Yellow) - Puccinnia striiformis

  • Light yellow flecks initially on the leaf blades and sheaths.
  • Flecks enlarge, elongate, and turn yellow in color.
  • Infected areas rise above the epidermis and then rupture, releasing spores that are yellowish-orange to reddish-orange in color.
  • Leaf blades turn yellow, starting at the tip and progressing to the base sheath.
  • Severe disease infection can cause the shoot to turn yellowish to reddish-brown in color and slow in growth.
  • Turf may appear thin as individual shoots die.
Conditions Favoring Disease:
  • Typically occur in early spring through fall, depending on the location of the turf.
  • Favors low-light areas.
  • Depending on the species, rusts favor temperatures between 65°F and 86°F.
  • Severe rusts infections occur on slow-growing turfgrass, particularly those with low nitrogen levels and/or plant water stress.