Preventing, Killing Fungus in Lawns
Plant Disease Products Lawn
Pests Lawn Fungus: Dormant or
Most lawn fungus problems can be prevented by a combination of proper maintenance
and the use of a good fungicide. Both methods of preventing fungi growth
in lawns are important.
Non-chemical Prevention of Fungus
A healthy lawn (like most plant life) is able to fight off enemies such as
fungi, weeds, soil and insect pests. Keeping your turf grass cut at the
correct height and applying water at proper times will go a long way in fighting
off lawn pests. Most plant diseases thrive under certain conditions that
include moisture and temperature. That is why you will notice brown patch,
dollar spot and other diseases appear during certain seasons. This also
means that you should not make matters worse by improper mowing, watering or
application of fertilizers (especially high nitrogen weed and feed products.)
Watering at night is one of the practices that should be avoided. Start
your lawn watering in early morning hours. This will give your grass
better drying times. The practice of watering turf grass just a little
amount every day should also be avoided. This only creates weak surface
roots (and a weaker plant that cannot fight off lawn pests) and keeps your turf
wet too often - begging a potential lawn fungus to attack the grass.
Proper watering of your particular type of lawn in your area can be discussed
with your local county extension office.
Fertilizer applications cause as many problems as do poor watering and mowing
practices. A lawn or turf fungus will thrive on the extra nitrogen
provided by certain fertilizers - especially weed & feed products that
contain 18-0-18 or similar formulations. The first number in the analysis
(18) represents nitrogen. Never use such a fertilizer until the proper
time of year for your area. This timing varies from zone to zone; contact
your local county extension office to get this information. These high
nitrogen products are not bad products, but they can be used at bad times of the
year, used too often and applied at rates that are too high.
Beware of lawn and garden centers that push you into using
a high nitrogen weed & feed product too early in the year! If
applied too soon, you are "pushing" a dormant grass with high nitrogen
before the grass is ready to grow. This bad practice will many times lead
to fungus problems and turf grass that gets hit with a late freeze.
A grass (especially turf grass) is at its most vulnerable state when upper plant
growth is pushed by applied nitrogen. If your lawn tends to have fungus
problems (even with good watering and mowing practices) you should use a turf
fungicide at lower levels at the same time you apply a high nitrogen content
If you need a weed prevention program, try using a pre-emergent herbicide and
follow-up with a weed and feed later on when your lawn is not so vulnerable and
is ready to grow. Another excellent product is Pre-M granular
fertilizer. This product has a 5-10-20 analysis and contains a
pre-emergent herbicide that kills seeds as they are trying to germinate.
Most people will misdiagnose their lawn problems in late winter to early
spring. As their lawn begins to wake up from its winter dormant stage,
scars from the previous year's problems give the appearance of active fungus,
molecricket or other pests. A good way to find out if your damage is due
to previous or current problems is to mark the spots with small sticks, turf
paint or other such materials. Check the size of the areas for several
days. If the damaged areas do not become larger (especially as your lawn
is just beginning to green up) then you are probably looking at damage from a
previous infestation of some sort of lawn pest. If the circles or patches
spread out or get larger, you could be seeing an active infestation.
Fungicide Prevention of Fungus
Fungicides were invented to prevent certain fungi from attacking
plants. Once you have a fungus problem, fungicides have to be applied at
higher rates and often have to be applied more than once at the high rate.
Using a fungicide as a preventative tool will save you money, time and maybe
Daconil is no longer
listed for use on lawns.
There are certain times of year that you probably have noticed fungus or disease
attacking your lawn. This year, beat the problem to the punch by applying
your fungicide just before lawn problems begin.
One of the best fungicides
to use is Eagle F-Stop. This is a systemic product
that lasts longer than topical treatments.
The best time to use fungicides is when you make your
first yearly application of fertilizer, especially weed and feed products or
others with high nitrogen content. Since grasses are most vulnerable as
they are being pushed by nitrogen, this is a perfect time to use fungicides at
- Help your lawn to help itself! Mow and water your lawn properly.
- Choose your fertilizer wisely; do not apply too much nitrogen and time
your fertilizer application so as not to encourage fungus problems.
- Use a good systemic fungicide as a preventative tool. Do not wait
until you have a problem. Combining your systemic fungicide with your
weed and feed application is good.
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Products Lawn Pests
Bayleton Systemic Fungicide Daconil
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