Necrotic Ring Spot Control

Necrotic ring spot is one of the most pervasive and damaging diseases your lawn can face. It is essential that you watch out for the symptoms of this disease and take decisive action whenever you notice them. Only by protecting your lawn diligently can you control ring spot and protect your grass.

necrotic ring spot

Necrotic ring spot occurs in the cool regions of the world where Kentucky bluegrass (a primary host) is grown. The pathogen is active in the cool weather of the spring and fall, even though symptoms are seen in the warm weather of the summer. The fungus is thought to move among the turf stand by growing along the surface of roots and rhizomes.

So, let’s learn about the necrotic ring spot fungus, what causes it, what it can do your grass, and most importantly, what you can do to treat it, or keep it from ever happening to your lawn.

What Is Necrotic Ring Spot?  

Necrotic ring spot is a disease caused by the fungus Ophiosphaerella korrae. This lawn fungus spreads through the soil and colonizes the roots of plants. Over time, it eats away at those roots and deprives the plants of moisture and nutrients, causing them to weaken and die. The fungus thrives at temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and can occupy the same patches of your lawn for years at a time.

Necrotic ring spot is named after the large rings of dead or weakened grass that it produces, which can be anywhere from a few inches to several feet in diameter. These rings are yellow, tan, or brown in color, and often look like a donut or the eye of a frog. The longer they are allowed to fester, the more likely it is that the grass inside them will die. Ring spots tend to be most severe in shady parts of your yard, especially if there is a large amount of thatch in the soil.

How To Identify Ring Spot

Besides the rings, you can identify symptoms of this disease by cutting sod patches out of the ground and using a hand lens to examine them. If the fungus is present, it will leave dark threads running along the surface of the root. This method is useful if you’re having trouble telling the difference between ring spot disease and other issues that cause turfgrass to become discolored.

Because necrotic ring spot thrives under certain temperatures, it tends to die down after September, and your grass may recover in the final months of the year. But the disease will still be there in a dormant state and will attack your grass again once the warm weather returns. If you don’t get a handle on it soon, it will cause severe damage to the roots and crowns of your grass, making recovery harder and harder as time goes by. It is thus critical that you take action as soon as possible after you find symptoms of necrotic ring spot.

Necrotic Ring Spot Treatments

There are three main methods for treating necrotic ring spot outbreaks, each suited to different levels of severity:

  1. Physical Removal: For disease outbreaks that are limited to a particular part of your yard, you can get rid of the disease by physically removing the affected grass. Dig down to a depth of at least 6 inches and remove all the grass and soil that the fungus has spread to. You should then dispose of what you’ve taken out in an isolated area and wash the shovel immediately.

 

  1. Sulfur Amendments: You can mitigate necrotic ring spot by adding sulfur to the grass, administering it either as elemental sulfur or as part of the fertilizer. The more severe the disease is, the higher the concentration of sulfur you’ll need to administer. Once you’ve spread it over the lawn, you need to water it in so that it does not damage the leaves.

 

  1. Fungicides: For the most severe infections, you may need to kill the disease with a fungicide. It’s usually necessary to apply fungicides at least once every two weeks during a season. Typically, you’ll need a professional to administer them.

    Besides treating the disease, you can lower the likelihood of an outbreak in the first place through proper lawn care. By dethatching and aerating your lawn on a regular basis, you make it harder for the fungus to spread. It’s also important to water, mow, and fertilize your lawn sufficiently, but not excessively; too much water or fertilizer containing nitrogen helps the disease grow. You should also avoid watering your lawn at night.

    Lush Lawn Necrotic Ring Spot Treatment Programs

    Healthy, lush grass adds color and character to any home. From Kentucky Bluegrass, to Tall Fescue, Perennial Rye, and Bentgrass, there are many options for lawns in Southeast Michigan. But just because this grass is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s immune to lawn care issues.

    As we mentioned earlier, Kentucky Bluegrass is a primary host for ring spot and other lawn diseases.

    Lush Lawn professional lawn care takes a holistic approach to treating necrotic ring spot. When you request our assistance, we determine the severity of the infection and then decide whether removal, sulfur, or fungicide is the most effective way to deal with it. We offer many treatment and prevention options that will keep your lawn thriving.

    We also provide aeration, dethatching, and other lawn control services to keep the odds of an outbreak to a minimum. Taking advantage of our lawn care services will also keep your lawn healthy year-round.

    Contact Lush Lawn today for a free estimate on safeguarding your lawn from necrotic ring spot.

    Lush Lawn locations:

    Grand Blanc Lawn Service and the surrounding areas, including Burton, Davison, Fenton, Flint, Flushing, Linden, Swartz Creek, and Holly.

    Rochester Hills Lawn Service and the surrounding areas, including Auburn Hills, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, Clawson, Detroit, and Farmington.

    Saginaw Lawn Service and the surrounding areas, including Clio, Birch Run, Frankenmuth, Bay City, Midland, and more. Farmington Hills, Hunting Woods, Keego Harbor, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac, Rochester, Royal Oak, Southfield, and Troy.

    Brighton Lawn Service and the surrounding areas, including Ann Arbor, South Lyon, Canton, Northville, Plymouth, Livonia, Pinckney, and more.

Controlling Red Thread In Lawns

What Is Red Thread Disease?

When it comes to keeping lawns in good condition, disease control is every bit as important as watering and fertilization — but not all grasses are vulnerable to the same diseases. In the case of yards lined with Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, bentgrass or red fescue, there is an increased risk of infection of a particularly dangerous lawn disease: red thread.

Named after the red fibers it leaves behind on infected grass, red thread disease, or red thread fungus, is a common lawn disease caused by Laetisaria fuciformis — a fungus that thrives on grass weakened by a lack of nutrients. More specifically, red thread disease most often attacks grass that lacks a sufficient amount of nitrogen and subsequently isn’t strong enough to defend itself against the lawn fungus.

What Are the Symptoms of Red Thread Disease?

Red thread disease is typically identified by the colored threads for which it’s named:

  • When red thread disease infects a lawn, it weaves pink or red fibers around the stems and leaves of plants.
  • As the lawn disease becomes more severe, the red thread fungus fibers grow, forming circular clumps that range anywhere from 4 inches to 8 inches in diameter.

red-thread-lawn

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to mistake red thread disease for other lawn infections that can also leave behind a pink or red mark on grass. (Pink patch disease and pink snow mold are two examples.)

From a visual standpoint, the difference between red thread disease and these alternatives is that red thread disease leaves fibers in the grass while the others do not. Upon a closer look at the infected areas, you can tell the difference between these lawn diseases, which is critical to taking the right steps to ensure proper treatment.

Different Ways to Treat Red Thread In Lawns

There are two primary ways to treat red thread disease — and it depends primarily on the severity of the infection when treatment is applied:

  • Relatively minor infections: Treating red thread fungus may only be a matter of fertilizing and aerating your lawn more effectively. Adding nitrogen back into soil in the spring and early summer can reduce or eliminate the threat of red thread disease, while aeration can loosen the soil to help nutrients like nitrogen more easily reach grass roots.
  • More severe infections: It’s likely that a fungicide will need to be applied to curb the spread of the disease.

Our Approach to Controlling Red Thread in Lawns

Lush Lawn has extensive experience dealing with red thread disease, taking every precaution to keep your lawn healthy. Our work begins with assessing the extent of a red thread infection (as well as any other diseases that are harming your lawn’s health).

From the insights we gather, we can determine whether a fungicide is necessary. If that’s the case, we will spray the fungicide quickly and effectively while causing as little disruption as possible to the surrounding environment.

We can also perform aeration and fertilization services to reinforce your lawn’s defense against not only red thread disease but all forms of lawn disease.

Don’t Let Red Thread Disease Disrupt Your Lawn’s Health. Contact Your Local Lush Lawn Branch to Request Our Services.

Photo Credit: Kris Lord, Flickr, CC By 2.0

Dollar Spot Fungus Control

The most serious forms of lawn damage often seem trivial at the start. Dollar spot fungus is a powerful case in point. This infection eats through the blades of your grass all the way to their roots, damaging the lawn so badly that reseeding is often necessary. 

Yet in its early stages, this fungus looks so harmless that few homeowners even realize they have a problem, making it hard to take action before it is too late. Lush Lawn can identify and eliminate ​lawn fungus as soon as it takes root, keeping your turfgrass healthy for the long haul.

What is Dollar Spot Fungus?

Dollar spot is a fungal infection that affects virtually every variety of grass, including bentgrass. Its name comes from the fact that it initially appears as a circular area of discoloration. This ​brown patch can be anywhere from 1 to 6 inches in diameter but is typically the size of a silver dollar.  Over time, the fungus spreads throughout the grass, killing it and leaving spores in the ground that will affect future plants. 

Dollar spot fungus is so harmful in part because of its high levels of resilience. During the winter, the lawn disease goes into a dormant state within your turf known as mycelium, allowing it to resist even the most severe cold weather. Then when temperatures climb above 60, it begins to spread again, reaching its peak between 70 and 90 degrees. Even when you have removed infected grass, the fungus can live on in the soil and thatch. 

Warm days and cool nights are often attributed to dollar spot, as well as low nitrogen levels in your lawn.

How to Identify Dollar Spot Fungus

The most obvious sign of a dollar spot infection is the spots themselves, which appear on areas of the lawn that have been infected. These spots never grow larger than 6 inches, allowing you to distinguish this condition from others that cause larger spots. 

In addition to this sign, you should pay attention to individual grass blades. If they have been infected with dollar spot fungus, you will notice small lesions on them, which are brown or red in color and tend to be found near the bottom and top parts of the plant. Any grass that has these lesions has likely been compromised by ​lawn fungus. You should treat them as quickly as possible to prevent the fungus from spreading to other parts of your lawn.

Types of Dollar Spot Fungus Control Treatment

Treating this lawn fungus requires the use of fungicides or chemicals that kill mold on contact. In choosing a fungicide, you should not only look for a product that has as large and quick an impact as possible but also one that the dollar spot is unlikely to become resistant to. 

Some fungicides, such as boscalid and flutolanil, are highly effective in the short run but have a high resistance risk. This means that dollar spot and other fungi adapt to them and learn how to grow despite treatment. Other products, like chlorothalonil and mancozeb, have low resistance risks but are not very effective in the first place. The best products are those like propiconazole and fludioxonil, which kill fungi quickly without giving them a chance to adapt.

Lush Lawn’s Lawn Treatment Services

Lush Lawn takes advantage of the most potent methods on the market for removing dollar spot. We invest in a range of fungicides that are highly effective but have little risk of resistance, allowing us to clear your yard of ​lawn fungus. We spray the lawn extensively, making sure that all the dollar spot is gone.

If additional recovery is required for your grass, we also offer services to reseed any areas where your lawn has been compromised.

We also offer services to shore up nitrogen fertility, giving your plants the strength they need to resist any future fungus infections. Don’t leave your lawn vulnerable to dollar spots. For a free estimate on ​lawn care for fungus, contact Lush Lawn today!

Lawn Rust Control

What Is Lawn Rust?

Serious lawn damage tends to start with relatively minor symptoms — ones that may be barely noticeable to the eye as your lawn faces threats. This is especially true in the case of lawn rust, a family of fungal diseases that begins with a small change in color and can eventually coat entire blades of grass.

Fairly common, lawn rust often grows most frequently on Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue or perennial ryegrass variety types. The disease typically appears in the late summer or early fall, when the growth of grass has slowed down.

Catching lawn rust disease in its early stages is essential to treat it in time and prevent its spread — but that also means recognizing how to identify its symptoms. The better you can spot and counteract the effects of lawn rust, the easier it will be to keep your turf healthy in the long term.

What Causes Lawn Rust?

When approaching the end of the growing season, it’s natural for lawns to be more susceptible to stress. This is due in part to shorter days with less sunlight, and periods of cool, wet weather. While these conditions are favorable to the development of lawn rust, this lawn disease is also often a product of lawns that are overwatered, have low nutrient levels and have thatch buildup.

What Are the Symptoms of Lawn Rust?

As the name applies, lawn rust causes your turf to gradually change in color from green to yellow, to dark red to even brown. The darker your lawn becomes, the further the fungus spores have spread and the more of the plant it has affected. Over time, lawn rust can eat away at your grass blades and indirectly make them more vulnerable to other lawn diseases and threats.

Is Lawn Rust Different Than Tree Rust?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. Lawn rust and tree rust belong to the same family of fungi, and they have relatively similar symptoms and effects. However, the specific species of fungus that gives way to lawn rust differ from those that cause tree rust. What this means is that if your trees develop rust, you don’t have to worry about it spreading to your lawn — or vice versa.

With this said, it’s important to still keep an eye out for one type of rust if you notice the other. Both favor the same moist conditions and cool temperatures. In the event that you’re dealing with both lawn rust and tree rust, you’ll have to treat them separately.

Our Approach to Lawn Rust Control

When you report lawn rust, the Lush Lawn team will immediately get to work to protect your yard. Using our experienced lawn care techniques, we’re able to quickly stop the spread of the disease and get lawns back on the road to recovery. Here’s how:

Fertilization

Lawn rust is often a sign that your grass does not have enough nitrogen, potassium or other nutrients. Proper fertilization techniques return these nutrients back into your soil, strengthening grass and helping it recover from the effects of rust.

Thatch Removal

If the soil in your yard is heavily saturated with thatch, it becomes easier for spores to grow and spread throughout. The best way to combat thatch in your lawn is to perform a core aeration. Core aeration will open up the soil, allowing thatch to effectively break down.

While looking very effective on paper, mechanical dethatchers will damage the roots of healthy grass. Core aeration, on the other hand, will reduce thatch without damaging plants. This ensures grass rust won’t be able to harm more of your lawn.

We’ll also advise you on how to remove grass blade clippings after mowing your lawn, as this can also cause lawn rust to spread.

Controlled Watering

Lawn rust spores need moisture to grow, meaning that if you overwater the lawn, you increase the odds of rust fungus infection. We’ll work with you to determine the proper watering levels for your plants, as well as the right time of day to water them.

Fungicides

While changes in your lawn care techniques are usually enough to stop lawn rust, fungicides may be necessary for more severe infections. We carry the full range of fungicide products and know-how to safely and effectively apply them to yards.

Don’t Let Lawn Rust Disease Disrupt Your Lawn’s Health. Contact Your Local Lush Lawn Branch to Request Our Services.

Leaf Spot Control

What Is Leaf Spot Disease?

While Michigan’s cool, moist climate supports a variety of plant life, this same environment also nurtures the growth of lawn fungus. Of these types, one of the most devastating and difficult to control is leaf spot fungus.

Leaf spot disease — or melting out disease as it’s sometimes called — is a common lawn disease that is caused by different fungal organisms from the Helminthosporium species. Marked first by leaf damage (spots or blotches to be specific) and then by rotting roots, leaf spot fungus can destroy the health of a wide range of grass varieties if not controlled quickly.

To minimize damage and be able to restore your lawn to its optimal health, it’s critical to recognize the early symptoms of leaf spot disease. That way, you can save your grass before things move beyond repair.

What Are the Symptoms of Leaf Spot Disease?

Leaf Lesions

During the early stages of infection, leaf spot fungus causes circular lesions to appear on grass. These lesions typically start out as tan or brown, but they can eventually become dark brown or black depending on how severe the infection is.

Withering Leaves

If leaf lesions remain on your grass for an extended period of time, the blades will turn yellowish and shrivel. This often gives the appearance of dehydration, which leads homeowners to try watering their lawns more to deal with the issue. While this extra watering fails to relieve the issue (since fungi is the actual cause), it could even lead to the disease spreading further.

Root Rot

Leaf lesions and discoloration occur during the early spring, but as the weather gets warmer, leaf spot fungus will spread to the crowns and roots of grass. The result is a “melting out” phase where turf dies in large patches. If leaf spot disease continues to persist at this point, you may need to replace large portions of your lawn, which of course comes with headaches and cost.

How We Keep Leaf Spot Disease Under Control

As an expert on lawn disease control in Southeast Michigan, Lush Lawn is familiar with leaf spot disease and how to keep it at bay. Our services combine preventative and restorative measures.

Fertilization & Aeration

When we fertilize lawns, we do so carefully to make sure that enough nutrients are administered without providing so much as to feed leaf spot infections. As we add nitrogen to your turf to fuel healthy growth and control leaf spot disease, we use core aeration to loosen up the soil and reduce thatch on your turf so it’s harder for leaf spot fungus to spread.

Strategic Lawn Watering

How you water your lawn affects the way in which leaf spot fungus spreads. With this in mind, we evaluate grass in detail and determine exactly when and how much to water it. Typically, lawns should be watered once a week so the soil is soaked at least 6 inches through. These waterings should take place in the early morning so the water does not nourish the fungus.

Fungicide Application

If leaf spot disease has already reached your yard, we can get rid of it through a series of strategic fungicide applications. We make sure to apply fungicide treatments as quickly as possible in order to stop leaf spot fungus before it reaches the melting out phase. In the case of especially severe infections, fungicides are applied several times until we’re sure the leaf spot disease is eliminated.

Don’t Let Leaf Spot Disease Disrupt Your Lawn’s Health. Contact Your Local Lush Lawn Branch to Request Our Services.

Lawn Disease: Snow Mold

As a responsible homeowner who cares for your lawn, you were probably thinking that your vibrant grass was well prepared to weather the winter. Yet, no matter how much you try to protect your lawn, there is always a risk that lawn diseases will develop and spread after the heavy snow starts falling.

Not all lawn diseases flourish in warm weather. Some progress in the dead of winter. Chief among these cold weather catastrophes is snow mold. It’s a fungal infection that grows under the extremely low temperatures in Michigan.

But by recognizing the signs and symptoms of snow mold and taking the proper precautions against it, you can keep your lawn healthy throughout the winter and the rest of the year.

What is Snow Mold?

Snow mold refers to two distinct lawn diseases: Gray mold and pink mold, each threatening your lawn in different ways. Here’s how you can tell them apart.

Gray Snow Mold

Gray snow mold attacks the blades of your grass without causing much damage to the underlying roots. Pink mold is more severe. It attacks the entire plant and causes damage that is harder to reverse. snow mold grass treatments

While pink and gray snow mold, for the most part, look the same, they have a key visible difference.

Gray snow mold causes hard growths to develop on the crowns and leaves of the grass it attacks. Snow mold infestations are always a concern, but you should be especially worried if that infestation does not produce any hard growth. Why? It’s a sign that pink mold is developing.

Pink Snow Mold

Sometimes, pink snow mold can look more orange than pink. This is because outside temperatures can cause the mold to develop a red pigment. Looking out for these growths is essential, as pink snow mold is far more damaging than gray snow mold. snow mold grass treatments

Both can leave circular brown patches (dollar spots) that are straw-colored. Each will grow larger for as long as the turf remains cool and wet. Inside the patches, the grass will appear matted, and you will notice a colorful fungal growth on top of them.

When Does Snow Mold Occur?

Now that you know about the two types of snow mold that can affect your lawn, let’s talk about when you should look for them to develop.  

Both gray and pink snow mold will survive the summer as dormant sclerotia. This allows them to resist high temperatures with ease. But when temperatures drop down to winter levels, they go to work and begin to spread across your yard.

Snow mold grows in the winter but doesn’t become apparent until the weather warms and the snow melts in early spring. It is most likely to arise if the first snow cover comes early in the year and covers the ground completely. When this happens, you should be especially vigilant about mold. You can reduce its chances of growing by spreading the snow piles out so that it melts more quickly.

How Lush Lawn’s Snow Mold Grass Treatments Work

There is no shortage of lawn diseases in Michigan, and snow mold is one of the biggest culprits.  But Lush Lawn’s snow mold grass treatments are tailored to handle any infestation. Here’s the process we use for preventing snow mold: 

Raking

For relatively minor snow mold problems, we can usually get rid of the fungus by gently raking the grass in your yard. This eliminates the mold while causing as little damage as possible to the surrounding environment, leaving your turf free to keep growing. 

Apply Fungicide

For more severe snow mold problems, Lush Lawn will apply a lawn fungicide to the area. Designed to kill the fungus while causing minimal damage to the rest of your turf, these products are most effective if applied in October and November. 

Measure Nitrogen

Besides eliminating current infestations, Lush Lawn can also make a snow mold issue less likely to develop in the first place. We do this by carefully measuring the amount of nitrogen fertilizer we apply, as excessive nitrogen makes mold more likely to grow. 

Cut The Grass

Likewise, we can cut the grass throughout the growing season and get rid of any dead blades, leaves, and other plant debris. 

Soil Aeration

Finally, we will use a core aerator to loosen the soil beneath the grass blades. This prevents thatch layers from becoming too thick and harboring mold. 

All of these steps prevent your lawn from becoming a breeding ground for mold infections. It also helps to keep infestations under control if they do happen.

Lush Lawn Services

Our lawn care treatments can handle all common lawn diseases in Michigan. 

For more information on snow mold prevention and management or to get a free estimate for your yard, contact Lush Lawn today.