When a lawn disease strikes, it can spread rapidly and kill your entire lawn. Through the early identification of lawn disease, you can seek treatments and ensure your grass remains healthy.
If you live in Allentown, Bethlehem, Emmaus PA, or neighboring areas your lawn is susceptible to various diseases, which generally show up around springtime. Here’s an overview of the top three lawn diseases in our area from our experts, including their symptoms, causes, and effects.
Dollar spot is a lawn fungus presenting with round clusters of lawn discoloration. Each patch can have a diameter of 6 inches or more, and they typically expand over time. The fungus becomes active during spring when night temperatures surpass 50°F, and it can affect the condition of your grass through summer and fall.
Dollar spot can affect most grass types, but some are particularly susceptible to the fungus:
Symptoms of dollar spot don't appear immediately, but later in spring or summer after a continuous rainfall period—the incidence of dollar spot disease increases in higher humidity and temperatures ranging between 60°F and 85°F.
You can lower your lawn’s vulnerability to dollar spot by:
- Mowing your lawn at a height of three to four inches
- Fertilizing your lawn four times per year
- Reducing the frequency at which you water your lawn
- Ensuring proper water drainage
Red thread is a severe and foliar lawn disease the Laetisaria fucimormis fungus causes during spring and throughout the summer months. Red thread thrives in overcast and wet conditions. The following grass species are vulnerable to red thread:
- Perennial ryegrass
If your lawn has a red thread infection, you will notice patches turning a tan or reddish-pink color, with frayed or ragged grass blade tips that appear to be dying. Initially, each patch will have a diameter of a few inches, but they can increase to three or more feet.
A lawn under stress is highly susceptible to red thread. Proper lawn care goes a long way to keep the fungus at bay, including:
- Regular lawn feeding
- Proper irrigation
- Routine lawn mowing
- Overseeding your lawn once a year
- Dethatching and aerating your lawn once every few years
Summer patch is a lawn disease that infects grass roots when soil temperatures surpass 65 degrees. This fungus survives in plant debris throughout the winter months. As temperatures start rising, the disease becomes active and destroys the root system, affecting the lawn’s ability to absorb nutrients and moisture.
Summer patch presents many different symptoms. Signs of the disease include:
- Irregularly shaped or circular patches of dead grass
- A yellow or golden outer patch ring
- Patches growing from one inch in diameter to a few feet
- “Frogeye” patterns forming on the lawn
Summer patch and dollar spot have similar symptoms. However, summer patch is more severe as it affects the roots.
Grass species that are susceptible to summer patch include Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescues. You can reduce your lawn’s vulnerability to the disease through regular mowing and by avoiding nitrogen-based fertilizer.
Call for Safe, Effective Lawn Disease Treatment in Today
At Green Turf Care, we offer reliable, environmentally safe treatments to eliminate fungal grass infections and lawn diseases that make their appearance in spring. If you live in Allentown or surrounding areas of Pennsylvania, and notice signs of lawn disease, give us a call at (484) 452-3595. We’re happy to provide you with a free lawn care estimate and restore your lawn’s health.