Warm, humid weather is rapidly approaching and soon conditions will be right for lawn diseases, specifically Rhizoctonia (“brown patch”), the most serious disease of turf type tall fescue as well as Clarireedia (“dollar spot”) on blue grasses. Turf diseases can quickly turn a lush, thick lawn into a thin, patchy lawn with little chance for recovery until fall when it can be aerated and seeded.
Lawn diseases develop and persist throughout the summer depending on temperature, humidity and rainfall. Evening temperatures (above 70 degrees F) with high humidity (greater than 75%) for extended periods trigger disease activity. Patches can range in size from 3 inches to as large as 3 feet and many times grow together causing the lawn to have a brownish appearance. Dark lesions on the leaf blades take on a tan color in the afternoon. Lawns in full sun with poor drainage and heavy clay soils are most susceptible.
Several cultural practices may help prevent or slow down disease activity. First, mow your lawn later in the day after the grass is dry. This helps prevent the spread of the disease by the mower. Secondly, water your lawn in the early morning before 7:00 AM and use deep watering cycles, several times per week. Third, raise the cutting height on your mower to the tallest setting possible, above 3.5 to 4 inches. This helps minimize the unsightliness of the disease and the damage to the grass.
Lawn diseases are preventable with the Virginia Green Estate Program. Our fungicide applications, applied in advance of disease development, will protect the grass for more than 30 days. For customers on our Premium Lawn Care program, Virginia Green recommends switching to the Estate Program, a more comprehensive ten-service program, to keep your turf from being damaged. The new program includes three additional treatments during the hot summer months consisting of fungicides, grub control, nutsedge control and additional weed control.
Remember, lawn diseases are best prevented by utilizing the Virginia Green Estate Program. Applying the fungicides in advance of disease development, not after noticing the damage, is the best method for keeping your lawn looking great. Therefore it is important to switch today! Please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (804) 285-6200 in Richmond, (757) 258-1788 in Williamsburg, (540) 903-2593 in Fredericksburg or (434) 975-0100 in Charlottesville to discuss our Estate Lawn Care Program.