We are receiving calls from several clients with “yellow spots” in their lawn. Some think it’s a spill. Some think it looks like a dog did his business in the lawn and the spot died. It’s actually Dollar Spot fungus in most cases.
Dollar Spot fungus started showing up a couple of weeks ago when we experienced higher temperatures and humidity. The fungus thrives in areas of the lawn where the soil is compacted. When the soil is compacted, the grass on top of it stays wet, yet the soil is dry underneath as it’s unable to absorb the water from above.
Treatment with fungicides can help but are expensive and must be applied with precise timing and up to six times to be effective.
Instead of a fungicide, if you notice Dollar Spot fungus or any other lawn fungus, we suggest the following:
- Fertilize the lawn as the nitrogen is beneficial.
- Aerate the lawn, especially in the fall.
- Water the lawn so it gets down into the roots.
- The goal is to get 1″ of water per week.
- It’s better to water longer and less often than more frequently, for shorter periods of time.
- Water in the mornings so the lawn has ample time to dry during the day.
- Set a cake pan in the lawn, turn on your sprinkler and time how long it takes to gather 1″ of water in the pan.
- Set a timer for this amount of time so you know when to move the sprinkler to the next section of lawn.
We’re seeing several other types of lawn fungus in addition to Dollar Spot. The same strategies can be used on other types of lawn fungus as well.
The good news is, that while a lawn fungus makes the grass look unsightly in some areas, your lawn will likely recover and be fine the next season!
- By: Jana Schmitt
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