Fall lawn fungus time is almost here. Proper identification and treatment can stop damage to your turf grass. Since temperature plays a crucial role in the development of lawn fungus, seasons also dictate which fungus can be found in your lawn at a given time. Since we are nearing the end of summer and getting close to fall, I think that a quick review of the seasonal diseases would be beneficial for everyone. Temperature and moisture go hand in hand when it comes to creating an environment for lawn fungus to thrive. Understanding the growing patterns for each disease will help you properly identify what disease is present in your lawn.
About this time of year we start getting call from property owners inquiring about orange dust found on their grass. The only fall lawn fungus that we encounter with an orange dust is called rust. Rust is a common fall lawn fungus found in lawns located in eastern Iowa. This disease usually does not cause severe damage to grass in smaller quantities, but large outbreaks of this fungus can weaken the turf and cause some grass to die over the winter months. This fall lawn fungus is a nuisance because it leave an orange residue on shoes and cloths. When you are mowing your lawn, you may notice clouds of orange dust being thrust into the air. The best way to eliminate this fungus is to maintain healthy turf, adequately water your grass and remove grass clippings by bagging. After a few weeks of bagging your lawn, most of the fungus should be gone.
There are a lot of lawn fungus such as fairy rings, necrotic ring spot, pink patch, powdery mildew and leaf spot the are present in the spring and fall. Most of these lawn fungus have a very low disease potential in the summer because of the growing conditions. If you have seen any of these lawn fungus in the spring, you may also see them again in the fall.