Protecting Your Lawn from Fairy Ring

In Spring on July 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Written by green-admin

With all the potential diseases that can develop in lawns throughout the St. Louis area, one of the most difficult to control is fairy ring.  Fairy ring is caused by different types of fungi and it attacks all turf grasses common to Missouri.  A variety of fungi live in the thatch and soil of a lawn all year long and they destroy the turf by feeding on the grass plants.  Fairy ring tends to occur near sources of decaying organic matter, such as a stump or excess thatch, and it is especially prevalent during the season’s dry months and in nutrient-deficient soil.

Identification:

Fairy ring may take on one of several different appearances.  In order to correctly identify fairy ring in your lawn, it is important to become familiar with all the warning signs.

  • Quick-growing, dark green circles or semi-circles of grass
  • Dark green rings bordered by a thin ring of dying grass
  • Rings of dying grass with a hardened layer of soil
  • Rings of mushrooms

The fungi that causes fairy ring releases nitrogen that causes the rings to have a lush, green appearance.

Effects:

Most cases of fairy ring are simply nothing more than an aesthetic issue, but further problems can occur and cause damage to the lawn if it is not handled properly.  These problems include:

  • Water repellant soil: a large presence of mycelium fungus can cause the soil to become hydrophobic, making proper irrigation impossible.
  • Enlarged rings: Some rings may spread over 100 feet in diameter and affect large areas of the lawn.
  • Fungi chemical damage: The concentration of chemicals released by the fungi can greatly weaken a lawn.

Preventing and Controlling Fairy Ring:

Fairy ring is an unpleasant and potentially damaging turf disease that can be prevented with these steps:

  • Regularly remove thatch from your lawn because fungus breeds within thick layers of thatch.
  • Heavily water affected areas for two weeks.
  • Regularly fertilize your lawn so that the root system is strong enough to fight off diseases.
  • Make sure to follow proper mowing and watering practices.
  • Set up aeration services with Green T; core aerations remove excess thatch and allow water to more easily reach the root system which helps fight fungal diseases.

It is still possible that the symptoms of fairy ring could persist despite following these preventative actions.  If your lawn has a fairy ring problem, call Green T Lawn Care to control the disease before it causes extensive damage.  Green T offers fungicide treatments as well as aeration services to their customers in St. Louis.

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Fighting Dollar Spot in St. Louis

In Spring on July 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Written by green-admin

The Missouri summer creates an ideal environment for a variety of fungal diseases to develop in a lawn such as brown patch and leaf blight.  Another fungal disease that may develop during the summer is dollar spot.  Dollar spot is a fungal turf disease that appears as small, circular brown patches throughout the lawn and it can consume an entire lawn if it is left untreated.  This post discusses how to identify dollar spot as well as the best ways to prevent or eliminate it from your lawn.

Identification:

Correctly identifying dollar spot in your lawn is the first step towards eliminating it.  Dollar spot is caused by a fungus that thrives in damp, humid conditions and feeds on grass blades.  Lawns that are affected with dollar spot show straw colored spots of dead grass throughout the lawn that are about the size of a silver dollar, giving the disease its name.  Without proper treatment, these spots will grow and expand across the entire lawn.

Dollar spot is most likely to develop in warm, moist weather with temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F.  This disease can be especially harsh on lawns with compacted, infertile, or dry soil.  Lawns that have weakened areas or excessive thatch build up are also more likely to contract dollar spot.

Avoiding Dollar Spot

Because dollar spot is most likely to attack thinning lawns, the best defense against it and other fungal diseases is to maintain a dense, healthy lawn.  Applying regular fertilizer applications throughout the season, especially in the spring, will help keep lawns healthy enough to fight off fungal turf diseases common to the St. Louis area.

Another way to combat dollar spot is to limit the moisture level of the lawn because excess moisture leads to fungal growth.  Watering your lawn early in the day is one way to control the moisture level.  Evening watering should be avoided because it could result in standing water overnight.  The lawn should only be mowed when it is dry and it is best to mow at a high level with a sharp mower blade for a cleaner cut.  Reducing the amount of shade in your lawn can also help avoid dollar spot.  Trees and shrubs that produce a lot of shade should be pruned regularly to allow more light to reach the grass and keep it dry.

If your lawn continues to exhibit signs of dollar spot or any other fungal disease, contact Green T Lawn Care.  We can help eliminate any fungal disease that attacks turf grasses in Missouri.

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