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North Texas Turf Disease Tips: Understanding Identifying Fungus and Disease Control Options

Jun 21, 2019 9:56:19 AM

A lush green lawn is the showpiece of an overall great-looking property. That’s why you probably want to do whatever you can to keep your lawn looking its best.

Unfortunately, Texas lawn fungus is an enemy to that lush, green lawn that you’re after. It doesn’t take much time for fungal diseases to run rampant and what was once a gorgeous lawn can quickly lose its appeal.

If you’re worried about disease ruining your lawn, then you might be looking to learn more about which diseases pose potential problems and what you can do about them.

Texas Grass Diseases Identification

Extreme heat, limited rainfall, and rising humidity—all quite common in Northern Texas—can be the recipe for Texas yard fungus to start growing. Identifying what type of lawn disease you’re dealing with is a first step in pursuing the best course of action.

Here are 3 that we are most likely to see in our area.

Brown Patch

Caused by a single species of fungus (called Rhizoctonia), Brown Patch is common during warm and humid weather conditions. The disease begins as dark circular patches on your lawn that grow outward as it spreads.

brown patch

The size of the circles may range from a few inches in diameter to several feet. Unfortunately, Brown Patch can move fast and be highly destructive, killing large areas of your turf.

Dollar Spot

Named for the small, silver-dollar-sized circles that this disease causes, Dollar Spot can start out small (a few spots here or there) but spread rapidly. In fact, as the disease spreads, the small circles may even begin to run together, producing large areas of dead turf.

Dollar Spot lawn disease

Dollar spot normally appears on lawns with low moisture and poor fertility, so if your grass is dehydrated or not consistently mowed it may be vulnerable. However, even healthy turf can be plagued with disease when the conditions favor it.

Summer Patch

This Texas yard fungus is characterized by irregular brown patches. This destructive disease kills grass by infecting and destroying its roots.

summer patch

It often forms on lawns that are very sunny or hot, hence its name. Though it may start small, Summer Patch often moves fast and can destroy your entire lawn, rotting the grass down to the soil.

How to Avoid Making Texas Grass Fungus Worse

Because diseased grass often mimics under-watered grass (by looking yellowish or brown), watering is often one of the first things homeowners do when they spot these symptoms. Unfortunately, overwatering the lawn can actually make a fungal problem much worse.

lawn irrigation spraying

Before watering, start by sticking a finger in the soil and seeing if you notice moisture. If you do, and your grass is looking yellow or brown, chances are it’s probably a fungus causing the discoloration. Don’t water your lawn. Instead, call your lawn care provider and let them know what you’re seeing so that they can make appropriate recommendations.

Of course, your watering habits can also play a role in potentially preventing fungal diseases in the first place.

In general, when it comes to watering, it’s recommended that you water your lawn in the early morning as opposed to nighttime. This gives the sun time to dry your lawn out. When you water in the evening hours, the water sits on your lawn and creates a habitat that can breed fungal growth.

The big idea is to not over-water, just give your lawn the right amounts at the right times.

How to Get Rid of Texas Grass Fungus

First and foremost, early recognition of a lawn fungus problem is crucial to successfully get rid of it. If your lawn is part of a regular and ongoing lawn care program, then having a lawn care professional regularly visiting your property will help. They’ll be able to spot the early signs of disease.

lawn care professionals looking for lawn disease

However, because an outbreak can occur quickly, it’s also important to notify your lawn care provider if you notice something in between their regularly scheduled visits. With an aggressive fungus, it can be a matter of a day or two, when the conditions are right, for it to spread like crazy.

The best course of treatment for Texas grass fungus could be a professional application of fungicide. At Grassperson, this would be an add-on service to your existing lawn care program. It’s not included in our regular program as most lawns do not have a significant issue with disease each year and it would be a wasted expense.

In some instances, turf disease could just be a temporary cosmetic set-back and your grass may recover when the weather cools down and grass begins to rejuvenate. But don’t assume this is always the case. It’s always best to get a professional inspection to be sure.

Keeping Your Lawn on Track

Although Texas yard fungus can be a roadblock to your great-looking lawn, it’s not one that has to totally derail your investment in a great-looking property. With early detection and swift treatment, you can keep your lawn on the right track.

Grassperson lawn care sign in TexasThis is where working with a professional is so valuable. There won’t be lots of downtime as there would if you had to find a company and get them out to your property to treat the problem. When you’re a Grassperson client, you can count on us to keep a close eye on your lawn—and to make recommendations whenever they’re needed. We’re always looking out for you.

This takes the worry out of your hands and only leaves you with the benefits—a fantastic-looking lawn.

Get the best lawn on the block—and keep it that way. Get a free quote and $25 off your first visit, then enjoy the best lawn with no worries!

Image sources:  summer patch, brown patch, dollar spot


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