Spring is a beautiful time in Michigan. The snow melts away, flowers bloom, and the grass turns green again. However, the change in weather presents a higher risk of spring lawn diseases. Molds and fungi can not only make your lawn look unsightly, but they can also cause long-term damage to your grass.
Even for those who have maintained and cared for their lawn all year round, there is always a risk that spring lawn diseases will spread as soon as the weather warms. In this blog post, Lush Lawn outlines the most common lawn diseases to look out for in Michigan this spring.
Snow mold is a common disease that occurs in lawns that have been covered by snow for an extended period. Caused by a fungus that grows under the snow, the disease feeds on the grass blades and can appear in two variations. The first variation is gray snow mold that appears in circular patches of grayish-white mold, while pink snow mold appears as patches of pinkish-red mold. Gray mold attacks the blades of grass and doesn’t cause much damage to the roots. Pink mold is more severe and attacks the entire plant, which makes it more difficult to reverse the damage.
To prevent snow mold, removing any snow from your lawn as soon as possible is essential. For minor snow mold issues, the problem can be alleviated by raking your grass to improve air circulation to prevent the fungi from continuing to feed on your grass. Additionally, avoid applying nitrogen-rich fertilizers late in the fall, as this can encourage the growth of the fungus. It should also be noted that both types can remain dormant and resist the summer’s high temperatures.
Red thread is another common disease that can affect your lawn in the spring. This disease is caused by a fungus that thrives in cool, moist conditions. The red thread appears as circular patches of a pink or reddish tinge, ranging from 4 to 8 inches in diameter. When dealing with the infection, it’s important to avoid mowing your lawn when the grass is wet, as this can spread the fungus. Treat a minor red thread disease infection by aerating your lawn and applying fertilizer.
Caused by a fungus that thrives in warm, humid conditions, Dollar Spot appears as small circular patches of dead grass. To prevent Dollar Spot, keeping your lawn well-watered and regularly mowed is essential. Fertilization and aeration can help prevent the disease, as can strategic watering. Applying compost over your lawn can also help to reduce Dollar Spot severity.
Made up of tiny and very lightweight spores, Rust is a common disease that affects lawns in Michigan. Warm and humid conditions promote its growth and spread, appearing as small, yellow, or orange pustules that form on the grass blades. To prevent rust from setting in, ensure you maintain your lawn and continue a schedule of watering that avoids being late in the day. Using nitrogen-rich fertilizer and mowing more frequently at a higher height will help remove the spores.
Necrotic Ring Spot
Necrotic ring spot is a lawn disease that appears as circular patches of dead grass surrounded by a ring of dark green grass. To prevent necrotic ring spots, it’s important to keep your lawn well-watered and avoid mowing your lawn too short. When dealing with ongoing issues, the best policy is to ensure your lawn has a robust root system by aerating the soil, applying a balanced fertilizer, and using sulfur amendments to impede the spread of Necrotic Ring Spot.
Let Lush Lawn Help With Your Lawn Needs
We can help with your essential lawn decisions and determine how best to revitalize your yard in the Spring with our raking, fungicide, and soil aeration services. To get a free estimate, contact Lush Lawn today.