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Category Archives: Lawn Diseases and Fungus

Well-established and maintained lawns are quite resilient. But even the best-kept lawn is vulnerable to disease. Learn to recognize and prevent lawn diseases.

Lawn Mushrooms

Though we can’t control mushrooms directly, there are management practices that can reduce them.

lawn mushrooms

Lawn mushroom

Mushrooms in your lawn call for different measures than standard lawn weed control. Mushrooms are classified as fungi, rather than weeds. Most mushroom-producing fungi in lawns are actually beneficial, because they break down organic matter, releasing nutrients that promote plant growth.

Mushrooms found in lawns often grow in areas where there are dead tree roots, excess thatch, or other organic matter. These mushrooms are usually harmless to grasses, but some people don’t like the look of them in the grass or want to get rid of them because children play in the area. Many of these mushrooms are associated with over irrigation, poor drainage or excess thatch. Removing excess thatch and aerating the soil to improve drainage as part of a lawn care program may help. There are many different types of fungus and molds. Have you ever seen the lovely sight of the “Dog Vomit Fungus” growing in a mulched area ? Click for more info

 

Extensive areas of fungi in your lawn, with or without mushrooms, may require more aggressive management. Give ProLawn Plus a call today for a free lawn care estimate. We will provide a complete lawn analysis and recommendations to rid your lawn of mushrooms and other fungi, allowing your lawn to be able to grow to its full potential.

 

ProLawnPlus provides professional lawn care and tree/shrub services for Maryland residents in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, in addition to portions of Harford and Carroll Counties.

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Brown Patch Lawn Disease

Brown Patch disease (Rhizoctonia spp.) occurs in Maryland in warm, humid weather. The combination of daytime temperatures that are over 85°F and nighttime temperatures that stay above 65° F  with little air flow leaving the grass moist  for over eight hours are the perfect conditions for this turf disease.  You can identify Brown Patch by its symptoms.  Light tan lesions with dark brown edges across the middle or tips of the grass blades are signs you might have Brown Patch. On mornings with abundant dew, you will actually be able to see the signs of the fungal mycelium which look like cottony structures.

brown patch lawn disease

Lesions on Grass Blades

Brown Patch Lawn Disease

Brown Patch in Lawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is mainly a problem on improved varieties of Tall Fescue. If you have a variety that is especially susceptible to Brown Patch disease and the ideal environmental conditions are expected for an extended period of time, you might need to have your lawn treated with a fungicide to avoid having to reseed the lawn in the fall. However, if a cold front is expected within a few days to lower the humidity and nighttime temperatures, it may not be necessary to spray.

If you suspect you have brown patch, avoid nighttime watering if you can. Afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms on a humid night set up the ideal conditions for Brown Patch disease.  More information on Brown Patch UMD

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Fall Leaf Removal Tips

Raking

Fall leaf removalIt may not be as fun as it use to be to rake leaves in your lawn. But it is necessary to get the leaves off your lawn as soon as possible. If you wait until all the trees in your yard are bare, it could be too late. The leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, stick together, and form an impenetrable mat that will suffocate the grass below and possibly breed fungal diseases. An alternative to raking leaves is to use a lawnmower fitted with a collection bag or vacuum system.  Regardless of whether you use a rake or a lawnmower, just be sure to remove the leaves before they turn into a soggy, suffocating mess. Another alternative is to mulch the leaves into the lawn.

Mulching

If you’ve got a large yard and you use a riding lawn mower, try leaf mulching. When the leaves are dry, drive over them with your lawn mower. The mower chops them up and returns the smaller leaf pieces to the lawn. Leaf mulching with a mower doesn’t negatively affect turf performance, and it is a time-efficient way to get rid of those leaves, which can damage your lawn. Maintaining a leaf-free yard this fall can help assure a healthy lawn come spring.  It may seem like a thankless task, the leaves just continue to fall, littering your lawn with more leaves. But come Spring, your lawn will be thanking you!

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Brown Patch Disease on Lawns

Brown Patch disease (Rhizoctonia spp.) occurs in Maryland in warm, humid weather. The combination of daytime temperatures that are over 85°F and nighttime temperatures that stay above 65° F  with little air flow leaving the grass moist  for over eight hours are the perfect conditions for this turf disease.  You can identify Brown Patch by its symptoms.  Light tan lesions with dark brown edges across the middle or tips of the grass blades are signs you might have Brown Patch. On mornings with abundant dew, you will actually be able to see the signs of the fungal mycelium which look like cottony structures.

 

Brown Patch
Click to enlarge

 

It is mainly a problem on improved varieties of Tall Fescue. If you have a variety that is especially susceptible to Brown Patch disease and the ideal environmental conditions are expected for an extended period of time, you might need to have your lawn treated with a fungicide to avoid having to reseed the lawn in the fall. However, if a cold front is expected within a few days to lower the humidity and nighttime temperatures, it may not be necessary to spray.

If you suspect you have brown patch, avoid nighttime watering if you can. Afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms on a humid night set up the ideal conditions for Brown Patch disease.  More information on Brown Patch UMD

Please let us know if you have any questions about this disease.

 

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Summer Update

Slime Mold_MS2013_edit01

Slime mold
© Pro-Lawn-Plus

mushroom_COstate

Mushrooms
© Colorado State University Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does your lawn have either of these things?

Whenever we have a period of rainfall, warm temperatures and high humidity, we always receive calls about mushrooms. We also receive calls about bluish-gray fungus on the lawn. The good news is that both of these are called saprophytic fungi, meaning they are not feeding on the grass itself. Therefore, neither lawn fungus needs to be treated with a lawn fungicide.  Mushroom are the fruiting body of fungi that feed on rotting wood underground and they may be a symptom of a lawn disease called ‘Fairy Ring’; but it does NOT need to be treated. You can just kick the mushrooms over and they will dry out within a day or so. And with slime mold, you can either wash the particles (technically called pustules) off or kick it off of the grass blades it attaches itself to. Generally, when the lawns dry out and the humidity diminishes, the mushrooms and slime mold will disappear.

Here is the link to our website that describes mushrooms

https://www.prolawnplus.com/education/mushroooms/

Here is another link from Colorado State University that describes mushrooms in more detail

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1546.html

Finally, here is a link from Ohio State University that describes slime mold in more detail

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/pdf/3074.pdf

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Red Thread, fungus lawn diseases.

Redthread001_cmd2013_edit

Top view of Red Thread
Click image to enlarge

Red thread disease and it’s associated lawn disease Pink Patch (Laetisaria spp) are both turf diseases that like cool, wet spring weather. It likes temperatures in the 60’s and low 70’s with high humidity and in soils with high moisture content. It is an interesting lawn disease because of the red fungal mycelium (strands) that are visible to the naked eye.

The disease develops in circular or irregular patches from 4 inches to 2 feet in diameter. Affected leaves within these patches are tan or bleached-white in color. From a distance, the patches usually have that reddish appearance, due to the presence of thick, red strands of fungal growth emanating from the affected leaves. It is through production of these “red threads” that the fungus spreads to healthy plants and survives unfavorable conditions. Small tufts of pink, fuzzy mycelium may also be present in or around the patches when the leaves are wet or humidity is high. After prolonged periods of disease development, the patches may merge to produce large irregularly shaped areas of damaged turf.

Red thread most commonly affects Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and sometimes tall fescue. Outbreaks usually occur in lower maintenance turf stands such as residential lawns, golf course roughs, and some low budget athletic fields. Red thread development is most common where turfgrass nutrition is poor but that is not always the case. Soils that have little or no topsoil and organic matter and don’t hold nutrients are susceptible to Red Thread and Pink Patch as well.

Generally, only in the worst cases of these two lawn diseases is it necessary to spray fungicides. There would need to be a prolonged period of cool weather to necessitate control products. A few hot, dry days usually will eliminate the symptoms.

Here is a fact sheet from the University of Maryland that explains the disease in more detail – http://hgic.umd.edu/content/documents/TT-24.pdf

 

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Choosing the Right Lawn Care Service

 

Young women reading a book It’s that time of year again, time to start thinking about fertilizing your lawn and dealing with the chores that go with it.  Maybe this is the year you let a professional handle the headache but who do you choose? The Maryland Department of Agriculture has a great brochure with questions you should ask before deciding on a lawn care service. Pro-Lawn Plus meets these standards and I’d like to highlight a few reasons why we should be your lawn care service provider.

First, we are a local company, not a branch of a national chain. We have been in business since 1978 and have built strong ties within the community. We are based in Baltimore and service Northern Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Harford County and portions of Carroll County. So we know the area and understand the specific local conditions, which help us to determine the best approach to improve your lawn. We have a highly trained and experienced staff, both in the field and in the office. After contacting my staff you will know you’re doing business with lawn professionals who do their best to achieve results that we will both be proud of.

We also pride ourselves on being environmentally conscience. I work closely with local law makers and University of Maryland officials to keep up-to-date on all local environmental concerns, including the new Maryland regulations on fertilizer application. Our equipment also allows us to spot spray for weeds, lowering the environmental impact of our treatments. We also offer an organic, no pesticides programs and all natural organic root sprays.

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I’m so confident in our service that I am offering a no risk, 3-month, money back guarantee your lawn will look better or your money back. Fill out our short contact form and a sales associate will come out to your property and provide you with a free, no-obligation written estimate. You don’t even need to be home at the time of our survey. Choose Pro-Lawn Plus and you know that you are choosing the right lawn care service.

 

 

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