Brown spots in areas of your lawn causing your grass to look almost like hay/straw could be a form of lawn fungus referred to as Brown Patch. Your lawn is a living entity. It naturally contains fungi spores, most of which will never cause issues. Under conditions such as a rainy season, abnormal weather conditions, and overwatering, fungi can present itself, spread quickly, and leave you with an undesirable lawn. Sometimes even new sod can produce fungus by either having a preexisting issue or due to the amount of watering it requires when installed.
GOOD NEWS! We can spray your lawn with a high-quality fungicide that will subdue the outbreak.
Here are some other helpful lawn maintenance tips you can do as a preventative:
- Water early in the mornings between the hours of 5am – 9am because the sooner the grass dries out, the less likely fungi will develop in the damp soil. Watering in the morning gives the lawn all day to dry.
- Be conscience of extremely shaded areas where grass is thinner and weaker. If you are unable to cut back the trees to allow proper sunlight to reach the grass, maybe opt for mulch beds around sun blocking trees rather than planting grass all the way up to the tree. You may notice mushrooms in these shady areas as well which are mostly not harmful to your lawn but are a sign of extremely moist soil and are unsightly.
- Good mowing habits are important as well. If your mower blades are dull, they will tear the tops of the grass which are more susceptible to developing fungal issues that clean cut grass. Sharpen your blades at least once a year in early spring. Also, it’s best not to cut more than one-third of the grass height as it weakens the grass. Cutting your grass too low can stress it and cause more problems than just fungus.
- Clear leaves and debris from your lawn regularly. Leaves and debris trap moisture in the soil and will cause it to develop fungal disease.
- The denser the soil, the more water it holds. In our Florida region, most of our lawns consist of sandy soil but be mindful of your yard. For example, if there is an area where a tree or large shrub used to exist that was cut down, but the stump is still there, the dead roots can cause fungus growth. If you opt to grind a tree stump, remove as much of the stump remains from the lawn and fill the whole with yard sand, especially if you have St. Augustine grass.