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Lawn & Garden

Lawn Disease Control


Your lawn really sets a first impression and can become the basis in which you are judged by others. If passersby see a beautiful lawn then they will never know about the hostile living conditions inside the house created by the tornadic 2 year old. There are so many factors that can create disease in our lawn. Proper mowing, watering, feeding and aeration are the keys to keeping the lawn free of disease and looking beautiful.



I, like many others am guilty of having done this. Waiting until the grass is entirely too tall to cut it and having clumps everywhere or perhaps you just cut it really short to buy yourself more time before having to cut it again. That’s like turning off the vehicle down hills to save gas, not a good idea. The fact is that cutting the grass too short invites weeds and drought problems and cutting too infrequently invites disease.


A properly fed lawn will require cutting every 5 to 7 days during the active growing season. By waiting 2 weeks to cut it, you are creating a thatch problem. Excess thatch will not break down, creating a breeding ground for disease caused by excessive moisture. More frequency with your cutting will give reasonable amounts of thatch time to breakdown before the next cut. If the grass is too tall, then consider bagging the clippings and discarding them. The fact is that cutting the yard 2 times, 5 days apart without bagging takes the same amount of time as cutting 1 time in 10 days if you have to bag it.


Recommended Mowing Height For Grass Types

The rule for any type of grass is that you are not to remove more than 1/3rd of the blade when cutting a yard. Each type of grass has different cutting height recommendations for different times of the year and in different regions. Cool season grasses prefer to be cut taller than most warm season grasses. Cool season grasses like Fescue, Perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass prefer to be 3.5 to 4 inches typically. Allowing your grass to be taller in the summer and times of drought will help keep the sun from drying out the soil as quickly.

Warm season grasses like Bermuda, zoysia and centipede typically prefer to be shorter, somewhere between ½ of an inch to 3 inches. St. Augustine, which continually grows over top of itself, needs to be cut around 3 to 4 inches to protect the crowns from being cut off. Find out the proper heights for your lawn type and region and keep it there while cutting every 5 to 7 days during the active growing season. Cut the warm season grasses very short (scalping) in February, bagging the dead grass up and dispose of it to prevent disease.



Improper watering techniques can really do a number on a lawn. Shallow watering or drought will have the roots of the lawn coming up looking for water. A shallow root system is one of the main causes of diseases like summer patch or brown patch. Establishing a deep root system is a great way to have an efficient lawn without the problems.

Cool season grasses, during peak warm season, need .3 inches of water a day. In soils with good water retention, this can mean .6 inches every other day. Warm season grasses hold up better in the heat, therefore only requiring .25 inches of water per day. In clay soils it is better to throw .75 inches of water at a lawn 1 time every 3 days, so it can absorb deeper into the rootzone. In sandy soil it is better to run the sprinkler daily. Click this link for more on watering.



Sure, an unfed lawn requires less cutting but it requires a lot more weed killers, fungicides and grass seed to correct this. Fertilizer helps develop that strong, deep root system that works efficiently and creates that thick, green, weed free lawn. Fertilizer also helps break down thatch which helps return nutrients back into the ground while using a lot less water.



Aeration is particularly helpful in heavily compacted clay soils. Good percolation in a lawn allows fertilizers to absorb deep rather than runoff of a compacted lawn. Clay soils, although very fertile, become compacted, not allowing water to absorb down into it. This creates a shallow rootzone, making it tough on any plant to survive. Aeration and a top dressing of sand is often required to make clay soils more porous. This creates a deeper, healthier rootzone for the plant while reducing the possibility of a lawn disease. Aerators can be rented in the tool rental department.

Chemical Prevention and Cure

The Home Depot sells Granular Lawn fungicides from Bayer and Scotts. Scotts and Bayer Fungus Controls cures and prevents turf diseases and keeps them from taking over your lawn. This rainproof formula provides up to 1-month protection against most common lawn diseases, including brown patch, dollar spot, powdery mildew, red thread, summer patch, strip smut, snow mold, rusts and anthracnose. These granules are systemic so you will want to water them in once you spread them so they can be absorbed into the grass.

Bayer Advanced 10 lb. Granules Fungus Control for LawnsScotts 6.75 lb. Ready-to-Use Lawn Fungus ControlBayer Advanced 32 oz. Ready-to-Spray Fungus Control for Lawns


Granular fungicides are to be put down with a broadcast spreader. Read directions carefully, as the bag may say covers up to 5,000 square foot but this is at a preventative rate. If you see signs that a disease is present then you will need to double up coverage where one bag will cover half of that stated. We also carry a liquid fungicide by Bayer that simply attaches to the water hose. Same rules apply to this as the granular as far as coverage is concerned.


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Posted 2016-01-28T20:55:07+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL