What is Leaf Spot Disease?
For homeowners, Michigan’s cool, moist climate is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it provides an environment capable of supporting a vast array of plant life, making it easy for you to grow anything you want in your garden. On the other, this same environment nurtures fungi and bacteria, which spread quickly through your yard and destroy anything you’ve planted.
Of all the diseases you have to deal with, leaf spot disease, also known as melting out, is one of the most devastating and difficult to eliminate if you’re trying to maintain a lush bed of grass. Marked first by leaf damage and then by rotting roots, leaf spot fungus can destroy your lawn if not dealt with quickly, making it essential that you take decisive action.
Symptoms of Leaf Spot Disease
Leaf spot is a disease caused by a number of different fungal organisms from the category Helminthosporium. It is marked by the following symptoms:
Leaf Lesions- During the early stages of infection, the disease causes circular lesions to appear on the blades of your grass. These lesions typically start out as tan or brown but can become dark brown or even black depending on the severity of the infection.
Withering Leaves- If lesions remain on your grass for long periods of time, the blades will start to become yellowish and shriveled. This often gives grass the appearance of being dehydrated, leading homeowners to try watering their lawns more in order to deal with the problem. But because fungi are causing the issue, watering your lawn more will not help, and may even cause the disease to spread.
Root Rot- Leaf lesions and discoloration occur during the early spring, but as the weather gets warmer, the fungus will spread to the crowns and roots of your grass. This leads to a process of “melting out,” during which turf dies in large patches. If you don’t stop the disease at this stage, you may end up having to replace large portions of your lawn.
Recognizing the early symptoms of leaf spot disease is critical for keeping the overall damage to a minimum. If you catch leaf spot when it is still limited to the grass blades, you can get rid of it and restore your lawn to full health. But if you let it reach the point of melting out, there’s likely little you can do to save the current grass. You should memorize the symptoms and be ready.
Lush Lawn’s Disease Treatment Services
As an expert on lawn disease control in Southeast Michigan, Lush Lawn is familiar with leaf spot disease and knows how to keep it at bay. We use a combination of preventative and restorative services, including:
Fertilizing & Aeration- We fertilize your lawn carefully, making sure to administer enough nutrients without providing so much as to feed infections. We also engage in core aeration, which loosens up the soil and makes it harder for a fungus to spread. By adding nitrogen to your turf, we promote healthy growth and control the disease. By aerating, we reduce thatch on your turf which contributes to infections.
Strategic Watering- How you water your lawn affects the spread of fungi. We thus evaluate your grass in detail and determine exactly when and in what quantities to water it. Typically, you should water once a week, administering enough water to soak the soil to a six-inch depth. Do this in the morning to prevent the water from nourishing fungus.
Fungicide Application- If leaf spot disease has already reached your yard, we get rid of it through the strategic application of fungicides. We make sure to apply these treatments as quickly as possible, so as to stop the fungus before it reaches the melting out phase. For especially severe infections, we will apply the fungicide several times until we are sure the disease has been eliminated.
Lush Lawn is committed to eliminating leaf spot disease and all other threats to your lawn’s health. For more information or to request treatment for your yard, contact us today.