Lawn grasses are plants. Like all plants, they are susceptible to disease.
But, aside from one or two common ailments, lawns are pretty resilient. They
survive the coldest of winters. They bear the heat and drought of the hottest
summers. Then, there are heavy rains, no rain, and high humidity. Despite
everything nature throws at it, lawns bounce back, even after heavy usage
by kids and adults. Despite the onslaught from the elements, lawn diseases
are very infrequent.
Like most plants, disease is encouraged by wet, humid conditions. Heavy thatch
is also a major ingredient, as it offers a place for disease to nurture and
grow. The health of your lawn is an important first step in avoiding lawn
diseases. Healthy and vigorously growing lawns are much more capable of resisting
plant disease. Keeping your lawn healthy and giving it what it needs, provides
a great appearance as well as disease prevention.
Snowmold is one of the most common lawn diseases. It shows up in the
spring. As the snow melts, it uncovers a lawn that has spent several months
hidden under a cold blanket of white, with little air and no sun. In it's
cold, wet, and dark environment, snow mold slowly forms, leaving the blades
of grass dead and brown. New grasses will slowly sprout up behind it, but
unless you rake it away vigorously, the new growth will be slow to come.
It will also be thin, so overseeding is a good idea.
Watering at night increases the chance of disease, as the wet grass provides
a breeding ground for molds and fungus. Sure, you can't change the nighttime
humidity or stop dew from forming. But, you can avoid increasing the duration
and frequency that grass undergoes wet conditions.
Keep the lawn free of objects. Remove fallen branches and leaves. They provide
a shelter for plant disease
and insects too.
Don't starve your lawn. Give it fertilizers regularly, to keep it growing
Check your lawn soil's pH. Correct the soil, if needed.
Keep your lawn cut at a proper height. About 2 to 2 1/2 inches is ideal.
Any longer, and disease finds a place to harbor.
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