How to spot grass diseases

The visible result of grass diseases attacking your lawn could be patches of dead brown grass, or more serious damage resulting in replacement of the turf – but this is very rare. Find out what grass diseases can cause problems and how to deal with them, with expert advice from Essex turf and topsoil supplier, Paynes Turf.

Identify grass diseases Paynes Turf

Keep your lawn green, lush, healthy, and free of grass diseases by adopting a regular lawn care maintenance programme.

Fusarium Patch

How can I identify it?

Fusarium Patch appears as patches of yellowy brown grass. Sometimes a white or pink cotton-like mould can develop on the top of these patches. Fusarium Patch is most common during the autumn and winter but can appear at any time of year.

What causes this disease?

The main cause of the disease is a type of fungus, called Microdochium nivale. When conditions are just right (such as prolonged warmer than average overnight temperatures and misty early mornings), the fungus can develop quickly.

How can I treat it?

It’s not usually necessary to treat the disease as the turf will soon recover once the temperature drops.

Can it be prevented?

An annual maintenance lawn care programme can help to prevent the onset of the disease. Regular mowing, scarifying, aerating, feeding and weeding will go a long way to keep your lawn healthy and disease free. In addition, try to keep overhanging branches away from the grass to allow air to circulate freely across the surface of the lawn.

Red Thread

What does it look like?

Reddish patches appear on the affected grass, before turning light brown or washed-out in appearance. Red Thread disease is most common during late summer and autumn, but can appear ay any time of year.

What can cause the disease?

Red Thread disease is caused by a fungus (Laetisaria fuciformis) which is present in all turf but normally remains unseen. Excessive moisture and high humidity can also contribute to its appearance.

How can I treat it?

A dose of high nitrogen fertiliser should be enough to keep the disease under control. Chemical fungicides are available but it’s best to seek the advice of a professional so that the disease can be diagnosed correctly. Chemicals should always be used with caution.

Can it be prevented?

As we’ve said before, adopting a regular lawn care programme should be enough to keep your lawn in tiptop condition, so it really is worth investing the time and effort into caring for your lawn and thereby helping to avoid the onset of grass diseases. Find out how to maintain your lawn all year round here.