Identifying and Treating Common Types of Grass Fungus

There are several types of grass fungus, also known as turfgrass diseases, that can affect lawns and turf areas. Here are some common types of grass fungus:

1. Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani)

Brown Patch is a widespread fungal disease that affects many types of grasses. It appears as circular patches of brown, dying turf with a dark brown or purplish border. It is most prevalent in warm and humid conditions and can occur during periods of high moisture and temperature. Proper lawn maintenance practices, including adequate air circulation, proper watering, and avoiding excessive nitrogen fertilization, can help prevent and control Brown Patch.

2. Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa)

Dollar Spot is a common fungal disease that appears as small, silver dollar-sized patches of tan or straw-colored grass. It usually occurs in warm and humid weather, particularly in lawns with low nitrogen levels. Proper fertilization, regular mowing, and good moisture management can help prevent and control Dollar Spot.

3. Pythium Blight (Pythium aphanidermatum)

Pythium Blight, also known as Cottony Blight or Grease Spot, is a fungal disease that thrives in hot and humid conditions. It appears as irregularly shaped patches of dark, slimy, and greasy-looking grass. Pythium Blight can quickly spread and cause severe damage. Proper lawn care practices such as avoiding excessive irrigation, improving soil drainage, and reducing thatch buildup can help prevent and control Pythium Blight.

4. Red Thread (Laetisaria fuciformis)

Red Thread is a fungal disease that primarily affects cool-season grasses. It appears as reddish or pinkish threads or web-like structures extending from infected grass blades. Red Thread patches often have a bleached or tan appearance. It is commonly observed in lawns with nutrient deficiencies and excess moisture. Proper fertilization, maintaining proper soil pH, and improving air circulation can help prevent and control Red Thread.

5. Rust (Puccinia spp.)

Rust is a fungal disease that affects many types of grasses. It appears as yellow, orange, or rust-colored powder-like pustules on the grass blades. Rust usually occurs in late summer or early fall and is more common in lawns with poor air circulation and low fertility. Regular mowing, proper fertilization, and improving air circulation can help prevent and control Rust.

6. Snow Mold (Typhula spp. and Microdochium nivale)

Snow Mold is a fungal disease that primarily affects cool-season grasses in regions with snow cover. It appears as circular patches of matted, straw-colored grass. Snow Mold is typically observed in spring when snow begins to melt. Proper fall lawn care practices, such as proper mowing height, adequate fertilizer application, and reducing excessive thatch, can help prevent and control Snow Mold.

It’s important to note that proper lawn care practices, such as regular mowing, proper watering, adequate fertilization, and good soil drainage, can help maintain a healthy lawn and minimize the risk of grass fungus. If you suspect a fungal disease in your lawn, it is recommended to consult with a lawn care professional or local extension service for proper identification and treatment options specific to your region.