Damp or waterlogged conditions in lawns can lead to the appearance of algae, lichens, and liverworts. As well as giving an unsightly appearance to lawns, these fungal growths can make the lawn very slippery. Find out how to identify the various types of growths commonly found on lawns and how to control them, with advice from Paynes Turf.
Algae-like growths thrive in damp, cool conditions on the surface of lawns and are dark green or black in colour with a jelly-like texture. The slimy make-up of these bacteria can leave the surface of a lawn very slippery and consequently dangerous to walk on. Poor drainage is often the culprit behind the appearance of algae and so by improving the drainage in your lawn (by aerating and adding a top dressing of sharp sand), the algae should disappear.
Dog lichen is usually found in dry, uncared-for lawns that have a poor nutritional content and suffer from thatch problems. One of the most common lichen found in turf is Dog lichen. Forming flat growths that grow across the surface of the grass, Dog lichen is brown or grey in colour and can quickly take over the lawn limiting the amount of light that penetrates into the grass and soil, which causes the grass to stop growing. The best way to prevent the onset of lichens is by maintaining a good lawn care programme which includes aerating, scarifying, and feeding the lawn on a regular basis.
Liverworts thrive in damp, shady areas of the garden and can be identified by their flat, green, leafless body. Liverworts don’t cause any harm to lawns, however their appearance is quite unsightly; so to remove Liverworts slice them from the surface using a spade, rake the lawn, and then spike holes in the soil with a garden fork to help improve drainage. This should prevent the return of Liverworts in the future.
Many lawn problems can be avoided with regular lawn care maintenance. A programme of regular feeding, aerating, de-thatching and scarifying should keep your lawn in top-notch condition all year round.