Near the end of winter, our Kentucky lawns become vulnerable to several opportunistic lawn diseases. Coming out of winter dormancy combined with the cool, wet weather of spring means the lawn is more open to attack than usual. Getting your lawn off to a healthy start is essential to a healthy year. Here are a few of the common Kentucky lawn diseases to be watching for this spring.
Brown patch is one of the common Kentucky lawn diseases to watch for as spring rolls around. This lawn disease is an easy one to spot. It shows up as irregular-shaped patches of brown, thinning grass. Though the grass typically makes a full recovery after a brown patch infection, it severely weakens the immune system of your lawn. This leaves it open to other threats, like lawn-damaging pests, opportunistic weeds, and other lawn diseases.
Brown patch can show up in the spring when there is excessive moisture and warmer nights. Keep an eye on your lawn for drainage issues and consistent, heavy dew. No Kentucky lawn is immune to brown patch as it infects all grass types.
Large patch is so similar to brown patch that, until recently, they were considered the same disease. Now we know that large patch differs from brown patch because it only affects warm-season lawns. So, if you have centipedegrass, zoysiagrass, St. Augustine grass, or another warm-season grass, then watch out for large patch. This lawn disease has similar symptoms to brown patch. Watch for large patches of unhealthy looking, brown, thinning grass throughout your lawn. These patches can be as large as 25 feet in diameter.
Watch for large patch in your Kentucky lawn in the spring, as nighttime temperatures reach 55 degrees or higher. Like brown patch, heavy dew, too much moisture, and warmer nights are all perfect conditions for large patch.
Gray Snow Mold (Typhula Blight)
Gray snow mold is the better of the two snow molds to have in your lawn this spring. This type of cool weather fungus forms and spreads under the snow, only revealing itself once the snow melts. Gray snow mold is much more common after snow falls on ground that isn’t frozen. It forms in the thatch and matted grass under the weight of the snow. Once the snow melts, you’ll see circular patches, about 6 – 12 inches in diameter, of gray or straw-colored grass. You’ll also see a border of gray mycelium around the patch. Gray snow mold is the better of the two types of snow mold because it doesn’t kill the roots or crown of your grass. Only the leaf blades are affected. It’s also easy to manage once it dries out.
Pink Snow Mold (Microdochium Patch)
Pink snow mold, on the other hand, is the worst of the two. This aggressive fungus also grows under the snow, in your matted grass and excess thatch. Pink snow mold loves wet weather and cool temperatures and is incredibly destructive. When the snow melts, pink snow mold appears as circular patches of brownish-red or copper-colored grass. These patches are between 1 – 8 inches in diameter and they’re ringed by a border of pink mycelium. Unlike the gray snow mold, this fungus does attack the crown and roots of your grass. In the end, you could be looking at a lot of repair work.
Fairy ring is a funky looking fungus affecting Kentucky lawns throughout the year. It’s funky because it presents itself as large rings or arcs of mushrooms or puffballs. The grass in the center of these rings is typically dark green at first, then turns brown and dies over time. The damage from fairy rings happens because this fungus causes the grass and soil to become hydrophobic (water-repellent). Fairy rings will come back year after year, getting bigger each time.
Fairy rings affect lawns throughout the year, but are more common during the wet and cool weather of the spring.
Turf Pro Outdoor Solutions Can Help Boost the Health of Your Lawn
Keeping your lawn safe from these common Kentucky lawn diseases is a year-round job. With a lawn care program from Turf Pro Outdoor Solutions, your lawn gets the nutrients, weed control, and attention it needs to keep it safe from these lawn threats.
If you want to get started protecting your lawn, then call us at (502) 991-7600. For more information, you can contact us here. Follow us on Facebook to find out the latest deals and check out our awesome blog for the best lawn care tips to help you protect your lawn.