Lawn fungus is a problem. Most people associate it with too much rain or watering, and that does happen. But most summers, regardless of whether it rains, many customers report this problem.
Why? Let me share a few facts:
- All lawns have fungus.
- Damp, warm, humid environments help spread fungus.
- Fungus is NOT a plant, and spreads through the distribution of spores
Now, let me share a few tips for slowing down the spread of lawn fungus:
- Mow your lawn high and LESS often. Yes, high. Like 4 to 5 inches tall. Why? Because fungus clings to the tops of the blades of grass. If you mow your lawn less often and higher, it’s far more likely you’ll remove the majority of the fungus that’s present.
- Bag your lawn clippings. If you don’t bag your clippings and, instead, leave them on the lawn, you’re not only leaving the fungus behind, you’re actually helping spread it. Those fungi spores multiply and spread like crazy!
- Wash your mower blades after mowing. Obviously, removing the culprit from the lawn and machinery will help prevent its spread.
- Water in the morning, NOT at night. The time of day you water is essential for lawn health–even if you don’t have fungus. Watering in the morning (like beginning at 5 a.m.) is the BEST time to water. Watering at night is NOT good for the health of your lawn and is another of those things that helps spread fungus. We recommend watering every OTHER day because this process allows your lawn to get nice and wet … and then dry out before watering again. Remember: fungus thrives on moist, damp, humid conditions. If you never allow your lawn to dry out, you’re providing a breeding ground for fungus spores.
Fungus in the middle of the hot summer:
As mentioned above, all lawns have fungus. Similarly, all summers include hot days and lots of sunshine. If your lawn has greater than normal amounts of fungus, the high temps and hot sun are likely to burn the grassy areas with the excessive fungus. This further compounds your issue and lessens the attractiveness of your lawn.
Unfortunately, this is a seasonal issue that can’t be prevented. Yes, some lawns have so much fungus they need to be treated with a fungicide. However, most lawns will bounce back with regular fertilization and proper watering/mowing.
These blog posts provide more information about watering and mowing. And here’s an online article that provides details about lawn fungus.