Most diseases which effect turf are fungal. It is important to understand all lawns contain fungus, it is normal and healthy. However, sometimes the fungus can cause damage to the turf. This happens when the environmental conditions are just right for fungal spores to thrive, coupled with the turf being under stress. Our lawn treatment programmes massively reduce any stresses your lawn could endure. We also include biological and micronutrient-based fungicides as standard in all our treatment programmes. So, therefore on the very rare occasions when a lawn needs additional help to fight disease, usually in the form of a Strobilurin, Difenoconazole, of Fludioxonil based fungicide, we do this at no additional charge for our customers.
In addition to our treatment programmes, following these two pieces of advice are critical to prevent fungal attack: Mow frequently, keeping mower blades sharp. Fungus loves humid conditions and long grass creates them, in addition taking too much off the height in one cut stresses the grass and can lead to fungal invasion, as can the effect of blunt mower blades. Also, never water little and often, as wet grass accelerates fungal growth, and a light watering does not hydrate the roots to create top growth to grow out the fungal invasion.
We have detailed below the most common lawn diseases on UK lawns. However, if your lawn does not look quite right and you think it could be a disease, then give us a call, we will come and assess it free of charge, whether you are a The Lawn People customer or not.
Red Thread and Pink Patch
This is the fruiting spores of mycelium, which is the most common of all fungus, when food or any organic matter decays, it is this fungus that plays the major role. All turf is full of mycelium, it is actually helpful in braking down thatch. However, when the conditions are warm and wet, particularly if growth is slow due to a lack of heavy rainfall or irrigation, it can cause a problem. The first thing you will probably notice are brown patches, similar to the effects drought. If you notice discolouration when we are not experiencing drought conditions and you take a closer look it is likely you will notice the tell-tale signs of Red Thread / Pink Patch. They are tiny red hairs, or little candyfloss – like flecks. Just let us know and we will pop round and easily cure the problem. Remember, it is completely free of charge if you are a The Lawn People customer. If we don’t already look after your lawn, we will assess it free of charge, and a standard seasonal lawn treatment will cure it 99% of the time.
Red Thread / Pink Patch thrives when the soil is compacted and there is a build up of thatch, so to help prevent it, it is important your lawn is scarified and aerated each year.
Microdochium (Fusarium Patch / Snow Mould)
Microdochium fungus is a common problem on managed turf. It is usually caused by the overuse of nitrogen, which causes excessive thatch and soft disease prone turf. Also, a lack of potassium, micronutrients, and a poor soil ecosystem causes the problem. Our treatment programmes have almost entirely eliminated it from the lawns we look after. Less than one in a thousand lawns we look after suffer from this problem. On the rare instances it has been spotted, it is quickly and effectively dealt with, free of charge.
It is a cold weather problem and almost always occurs in late autumn or winter. We only usually encounter it, on our lawns, after heavy snow. The first thing you will notice are small yellowish-brown patches, that start a few centimetres wide and can grow up to 50cm in diameter. The fungus, when visible, is a white mould, or a pinkish fluff.
Although this is a fairly common fungal problem, our treatment programmes seem to have eradicated it from the lawns we look after. We have not seen it for several years. It is a symptom of a poor feeding schedule, excessive thatch, and compacted soil. The last time we saw it was when we took over a lawn from another lawn care provider, we found the cause to be ‘nutrient lock-up’ in the soil, due to a lack of essential trace elements and a very low level of microbial activity in the soil. We treated the lawn with our BioBlend™ Organic Soil Conditioning Treatment and the issue was cured. It has not returned in over three years. If you have got Dollar Spot, you will notice small coin-sizes yellow patches which are slightly sunken and have a darker brownish edge. Of course, if you are one of our customers we will eliminate the problem free of charge.
We encounter this issue from time to time when we take on a new lawn. It is always cured after a single application of any of our seasonal lawn treatments.
It can thrive during anytime of the year on an under nourished lawn.
Anrthacnose is uncommon on domestic lawns. It thrives on very closely cut turf, especially when soil is compacted and there is a high level of thatch. We do see it occasionally and it is easily remedied by relieving the soil compaction with Hollow-Tine Aeration, removing thatch by scarification and ensuring the turf is well nourished with one of our treatment programmes.
Anthracnose usually first appears in early autumn; however, it can persist all year round. The first thing you will notice is small patches a couple of centimetres in diameter turning yellow with an orange tinge. The patches will grow to around 15cm, and the base of the grass will blacken and will pull away easily.