Hot + Humid + Wet = Fungus
The past few weeks have been trying for lawns for sure. Usually, this time of year brings dry, browned out lawns. But this season we’re seeing much more in the way of disease pressure. The pictures below are of Brown Patch that was recently found in one of our lawns, though we’ve seen it in many. But why is it there and should we be treating it?
Treatment of turfgrass diseases on a home lawn with fungicides is usually a bad idea for several reasons.
- Preventative fungicide applications (which some companies will do) are like taking antibiotics preventatively for diseases that you aren’t sure you’ll get. It’s not healthy and it’s not good for your well-being.
- Curative fungicide applications will save the grass, but think that through for a minute. What grass are we saving? We’re saving the weaker grasses that are more susceptible to this problem in the future. So the disease will just continue to recur, getting worse each season. It’s better to allow that grass to suffer so we can plant stronger grasses in their place.
- Environmental soundness is important. Adding chemicals unnecessarily is a bad idea. We’re better off building a stronger, healthier lawn for the future.
- Lawns become “addicted” to fungicides very quickly. While we use that word loosely (it’s not really an addiction), the effect is the same. Once you get the cycle started, the lawn just cannot survive without regular applications of fungicides. We have taken over many lawns that nearly completely died off about a month after we started. After we investigated, we learned that the previous company had been constantly treating the lawn with fungicides and now we had to spend a season weaning it off and getting the natural balance back in place.
- Fungicides are expensive and only last a few weeks. So even if you did want us to treat the lawn, we’d need to be back within a month to do it again and to leave another big bill.
SO NOW WHAT?
It’s very important to remember that these issues are very seasonal and won’t be a problem in the very near future. Diseases run their course, sometimes leave behind some damage, then abate naturally. We can then come seed the damaged areas with stronger grasses that won’t suffer nearly as much in the future. That time of year is coming right up.
We are planning to start seeding soon (within the next few weeks) so this will all be a memory. If your lawn is looking particularly poor and you want to be seeded sooner rather than later, please let us know! Just shoot a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you’d like to be seeded on the earlier side of the season. Please note though! If you do NOT have irrigation and cannot water the seed, it’s usually better to wait until mid September when the weather is cooler and the seed won’t dry out so quickly.
We realize that this time of year is trying and you may not be happy with the condition of your lawn at the moment as a result. We do understand. This is part of the normal cycle of a lawn just as it looks thin and brown during the extreme cold of the winter too. Once temperatures go over 90 degrees in this part of the country, lawns suffer. But fall is nearing and things will start looking great again soon. Thank you very much for your patience through this time of year.
The Teed & Brown Team.