With summertime approaching, it can become difficult to know when and how is the best way to take care of your lawn in this Florida heat. Over watering can be very harmful to your lawn, as well as not cutting it down often enough or short enough. The care and management of your lawn is imperative to its health as we get through this hot and humid season.
Fungus thrives on high temperatures and lots of rain and moisture, but there are ways to prevent it from overtaking your lawn. The best time to identify when your lawn needs watering is in the morning, that is when you will be able to see signs of wilting. Wilting gives grass blades a blueish-grey color and cause them to fold in half. A quick test to see if your grass is witling or not is to take a step onto your lawn and if your footprint remains for several minutes, your lawn is wilting. If you have these symptoms, apply about one half an inch of water until your soil is no longer dry. Make sure to only water early in the morning to reduce the occurrence of fungus. The longer the leaf blades stay wet, the more likely it is for the disease to contaminate your lawn.
Grey Leaf Spot is a fungus that can slow the growth of your lawn and can kill large areas all at once during hot and humid weather. The disease can be spotted by inspecting a blade of grass for long oval spots with light grey centering and dark edges. Once the area with the fungus has been identified, it will need to be spot treated and then mowed to the proper height to ensure the disease is taken care of and will not return.
Pythium Root Rot is a fungus that can appear at any time of year but is mostly related to wet soil. Excessive watering can cause the roots to be attacked by this fungus, causing the blades of grass to lose their green coloring and appear yellow or brown in color. This fungus will eventually cause your lawn to die. To prevent the disease from overtaking, it is important to consider proper drainage and only water when there are symptoms of wilting and dry soil.
Take-all Root Rot is a fungus that likes to attack warm-season grasses, which of course is what is primarily found here in Florida. The prolonged rainfall in the later summer and early fall months is when the disease is at its peak. Since this is a disease that attacks the roots, if the lawn is not overly stressed, the above ground symptoms may be close to none. If the grass is stressed, yellow or light green coloring will appear in patches ranging from a few inches to a few feet. By the time the above ground symptoms have shown themselves though, the lawn has already been under attack for at least two weeks, if not more. This makes it difficult to control the disease once it is to the point of showing the above ground symptoms, so preventative measures must be taken. Scalping is very stressful on a lawn, so making sure the grass is cut to a respective height, removing only about one-third at a time, is important to not damage leaf tissue. Make sure to not over water during these rainy seasons as well.
Most fungal diseases can be avoided by practicing healthy behaviors such as proper watering, fertilizing, and mowing. However, when problems such as these do arise, it is best to contact a professional to make sure your lawn can be salvaged as much as possible. Give us a call as soon as you start to see problems and we will try to assist!