The Most Common Spring Lawn Diseases in Idaho
As if you don’t have enough to worry about, here we are telling you that your lawn might be moldy.
Sorry about that.
But it’s kind of startling to wake up one morning to see your grass all matted and pink.
Just trying to prepare you. That’s what friends do, right?
What Causes Spring Lawn Fungus?
Damp winters and humid spring weather stress your lawn.
Heavy, wet patches of snow. Standing water. Poor drainage. It all adds up to some common spring lawn diseases in Idaho lawns.
Just when you’re excited about seeing fresh new spring grass, you look out at your lawn and see large round patches of dead or dying grass. They might be gray. Or even pink.
What the heck? How can lawn diseases spread in winter?
Here’s a fun fungus fact: the pathogens for spring lawn diseases are there in your soil all the time.
When the right conditions exist — snow falling before the ground is frozen, melting snow pooling under frozen snow banks, decaying piles of leaves providing damp shelter — the dormant pathogens become active.
And once spring lawn diseases in Idaho become active, they can infect your grass quickly.
How to Identify Spring Lawn Diseases
Here’s a look at the most common spring lawn diseases in Idaho:
Snow mold is generally the first spring lawn fungus in Idaho to show up after the snow starts melting.
You’ll notice circular brown or pink matted areas of your lawn ranging from two inches to three feet.
There are three types of snow mold:
- Gray snow mold. You’ll notice circular yellow or grayish brown matted areas after the snow melts. As the grass dries, the blades become grayish to silvery white, brittle, and encrusted over the circular patch.
- Pink snow mold. This can be more severe than gray snow mold. It appears as dry, pink turf from 2 inches to 3 feet or more in diameter after the snow melts. Pink snow mold usually only attacks the grass blades, but can spread to the crowns and roots, killing the entire patch of grass.
- Microdochium patch. This looks similar to pink snow mold except the centers of the infected patches aren’t as matted. If this spring lawn fungus isn’t detected early, it can stick around. Damage to your turf can become severe and long-lasting.
If your Idaho lawn is bluegrass and tends to be shady and wet, it can be susceptible to powdery mildew.
This fungus attacks the surface of the grass blades, creating a fine, white powdery coating.
Your grass is extra susceptible to powdery mildew if you have:
- Dense shrubbery
- Poor air circulation
- High humidity
- Dense shade
How to Get Rid of Spring Lawn Fungus
The good news: you might just need to do some raking. If the crowns and roots aren’t infected, a light raking of the matted area will loosen the grass and allow new grass to grow.
Make sure you clean any tools that come in contact with the disease to keep it from spreading to other parts of your lawn.
How to Control Powdery Mildew
Consider pruning shrubs and trees to allow better air circulation and greater penetration of sunlight.
If powdery mildew persists, you might need a fungicide to control it.
Preventing Spring Lawn Diseases
Even better news? You can head off spring lawn fungus with good preventive maintenance:
- Invest in a balanced fertilization program that provides the necessary nutrients at the appropriate times of year, especially if you have recurring patches.
- Aeration. When your soil becomes compacted, your lawn can't breathe. Its roots can't take in water or nutrients, which weakens your turf and opens the door for disease and weeds. Lawn aeration uses a machine to pull out plugs of soil, creating spaces so that air and water can penetrate, which leads to healthier roots.
- Keep your mower blades sharp. Grass blades that are torn by dull mower blades are not only susceptible to spring lawn fungus, they also help to spread it across your lawn by introducing it to healthy grass while it clings to the mower blades.
Is it Spring Lawn Disease — or Something Else?
There are a lot of things that cause stress for your lawn.
If you see unsightly patches of yellow or brown lawn, it might be fungus.
It could also be the result of poor irrigation. Or bad mowing. Or drainage issues. Or too much pesticide. Or too much fertilizer. Or insects.
You get the idea. A lot is happening out there on your lawn.
We’d be happy to take a look, diagnose the problem, and help you get your healthy green grass back again.
Is Your Lawn Ready for a New Best Friend?
If you freaked out earlier about the idea of pink mold on your lawn, we hope you’re less stressed now.
Prevent spring lawn diseases in Idaho by making sure your lawn is healthy in the first place.
Make it easy on yourself. Choose a professional lawn care service that bundles your yard’s most-needed treatments into one convenient, no-fuss plan.
Fertilizing, weed control, grub control. Done.
We’ve got your back. We’ll create a custom plan for your Idaho Falls, or Boise, ID lawn.
Got a few minutes? That’s all you need to get started.
Image Source: Powdery Mildew