How do I get rid of fungus in my lawn?

If you have been dealing with unsightly fungus on your lawn, you are not alone. Lawn fungi can be a difficult problem to get rid of, but it is not impossible. Fungus is the most common cause of lawn problems and it causes many problems in lawns. It can cause lots of damage to lawns by attacking roots, spreading through runners, or through leaf borne spores.

First, it is important to understand what causes lawn fungus. Fungus thrives in moist conditions, so areas of your lawn that are constantly wet or humid are more susceptible to fungal growth. Lawns that have poor drainage or are overwatered are also more likely to develop fungus problems. Once you have identified the conditions that are conducive to fungal growth, you can take steps to correct them.

Common lawn fungus

Some of the most common lawn fungi include brown patch, dollar spot, and powdery mildew.

Brown patch

Brown patch is a type of fungi that often affects St. Augustine grass and Bermuda grass. It causes circular patches of brown or yellow grass that can range in size from a few inches to several feet.

Dollar spot

Dollar spot is another type of fungi that attacks both cool-season and warm-season grasses. It generally affects lawns that are stressed by drought or poor nutrition. Dollar spot produces small, round patches of straw-colored grass with small red or purple spots in the center.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a type of fungi that commonly affects trees and shrubs, but it can also affect lawns. It’s characterized by a white or gray powdery growth on the leaves of affected plants.

Toadstool and mushroom

While toadstools and mushrooms are not technically classified as fungi, they are often associated with lawn fungi problems. Toadstools and mushrooms appear after periods of heavy rain or high humidity. They can range in size from a few inches to several feet and can be found in a variety of colors, including white, brown, yellow, and red.

Toadstools and mushrooms are generally harmless, but they can be unsightly. If you want to get rid of them, you can rake them up or spray them with a fungicide.

These fungi can cause a variety of problems for your lawn, including discoloration, thinning grass, and bare patches.

Causes of lawn fungus

Fungus growth in lawns are caused by the following :

  1. Moist conditions: Fungus thrives in moist conditions so areas that are constantly wet or humid are more susceptible to its growth.
  2. Poor drainage: Ifyour lawn has poor drainage, it means that water does not flow freely out of it. This can lead to the formation of puddles on the surface, which is a perfect environment for fungi to grow.
  3. Over-watering: One of the main reasons people get fungi on their lawn is because they’re over-watering. Waterlogged soil provides the perfect environment for fungi to grow and thrive. If you think you might water your lawn too much, cut back on the amount of water you’re giving it each week.
  4. Fertilizer: Another common cause of lawn fungus is using too much fertilizer, or the wrong type of fertilizer. When you fertilize your lawn, you’re essentially giving fungi a food source that it can use to grow. If you want to avoid this, use organic fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizer.
  5. Mowing: Believe it or not, mowing your lawn can also contribute to the growth of fungi. When you mow your lawn, you’re creating tiny wounds in the grass that fungi can enter. To avoid this, make sure you’re using a sharp blade on your lawn mower.
  6. Lack of sunlight and air circulation – Fungi also need sunlight to grow, so if your lawn isn’t getting enough sun, this could be the reason there’s fungus presence. The same applies to air circulation. If your lawn isn’t getting enough air, this could also contribute to the growth of fungi.

 

Signs of fungus presence in lawns

The following are signs that there is fungus present in your lawn :

  • Yellow, brown or dead patches in the grass: If you observe yellow, brown or dead patches in your grass, this is a sign that there is fungus present.
  • White, gray or black growths on the grass: Another sign of fungus presence are white, gray or black growths on the grass. These are called “fungal fruiting bodies” and they release spores into the air that can infect other parts of your lawn.
  • Thin or patchy grass – Fungus can also cause the grass to become thin or patchy.

 

How to get rid of lawn fungus

There are several ways you can get rid of lawn fungus. Some of the most effective ways include:

Use fungicides

Fungicides are available in both chemical and organic formulations. Chemical fungicides will often be more effective, but they can also be more harmful to the environment. If you choose to go the chemical route, make sure to read the label carefully and follow the directions explicitly. Many chemicals should only be used as a last resort and some may require a license to purchase.

Organic fungicides are generally thought to be safer for both people and pets, but they may not work as well as their chemical counterparts. Some organic options include neem oil, horticultural oil, and sulfur. As with chemical fungicides, be sure to read the label before using any organic products.

Improve drainage

If your lawn has poor drainage, you can improve it by installing a drainage system. This will help to ensure that water flows freely out of the lawn and doesn’t pool on the surface.

You can also improve drainage by aerating the soil. This involves making small holes in the soil so that water can more easily penetrate it. You can do this yourself with an aeration tool or hire a professional to do it for you.

Water only when necessary

One of the best ways to discourage fungi growth is to water your lawn only when necessary. Waterlogged soil is the perfect environment for fungi to grow, so by avoiding over-watering, you’re making it much less likely that fungi will take hold in your lawn.

Get rid of dead vegetation

Dead vegetation is another food source for fungi, so it’s important to remove it from your lawn. This includes dead leaves, branches, and any other organic matter that has fallen on the ground.

You can also avoid dead vegetation by regularly mowing your lawn. This will help to keep the grass short and prevent debris from accumulating on the surface.

Mow with a sharp blade

As mentioned earlier, mowing your lawn can create tiny wounds in the grass that fungi can enter. To avoid this, make sure you’re using a sharp blade on your lawn mower. A dull blade will tear the grass rather than cut it, which will leave the grass more susceptible to fungal growth.

Adequate sunlight and air circulation

If your lawn isn’t getting enough sun, this could be the reason there’s fungus presence. The same applies to air circulation. If your lawn isn’t getting enough air, this could also contribute to the growth of fungi.

To ensure adequate sunlight and air circulation, make sure there are no obstacles blocking the sun or the flow of air. This includes trees, shrubs, and buildings. You should also avoid overcrowding your lawn with too much furniture or other objects

Raise mowing height

If you’re mowing your lawn too short, this could be making it more susceptible to fungi. When the grass is shorter, there’s less leaf surface area for the sun to reach. This can make it more difficult for the grass to photosynthesize and produce food for itself.

It’s also important to note that shorter grass is more likely to be damaged by foot traffic. This damage can create wounds in the grass that fungi can enter.

To avoid these problems, raise the height of your lawn mower so that you’re only removing a small amount of growth with each cut.

Your grass can recover from fungus. Make sure you get to it early to help prevent making it too hard to save.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is soil test necessary for fungus growth prevention in lawns?

A soil test is unnecessary for preventing the growth of fungi in lawns, but it can be helpful in determining whether your soil is conducive to fungal growth. A soil test will also help you determine the best course of action for improving drainage and aeration.

How do I know if my lawn has poor drainage?

If your lawn has poor drainage, you may notice that water pools on the surface after a rainstorm. You may also notice that the grass is always wet. If you suspect your lawn has poor drainage, you can conduct a simple test by digging a small hole in the ground and filling it with water. If the water doesn’t drain within 24 hours, then your lawn has poor drainage.

Conclusion

Fungus growth in lawns can be a difficult problem to solve, but by following the tips in this guide, you should be able to get rid of it for good. If you have any further questions, be sure to consult with a professional landscaper or lawn care specialist.