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Turfgrass diseases are one of the toughest problems to conquer in the pursuit of a beautiful lawn. How to control disease is a very complex and lengthy subject. This is very basic information on how to control disease in turf.
Turfgrass diseases are caused mainly by a parasitic form of plant life called fungi. Fungi are parasitic, they obtain their food from living organisms. In turf diseases the grass plant is the living organism or host that the fungi is feeding upon. Lawn diseases come in many different forms and can attack the grass at any given time of the year. Infection or growth of the fungi occurs when the weather conditions are right for the growth of the fungi. Typically temperature and humidity play a key role in the development of turf grass diseases. When conditions become unfavorable, the fungi becomes dormant, waiting for conditions to become favorable.
There are so many turfgrass diseases they can be hard to identify. Identity can be difficult and how to control the disease just as difficult. Identifying a disease is crucial in attempting how to control the disease. Controlling diseases with use of fungicides is a common practice. The number of lawn fungicides are numerous and identifying the disease is crucial for fungicide applications. There are fungicides that will control a number of various disease, but there is no one fungicide that will control all of them. Typically fungicides must be applied several times and they are expensive. If the wrong fungicide is applied for the wrong disease, it is not productive. Many times fungicides are used as a preventive measure. This is one of the best ways on how to keep the grass plant from contracting the disease.
Maintenance practices are one of the best ways on how to keep lawn disease from becoming a problem. Improper mowing practices can be a contributing factor dull mower blade leaves shredded grass blades that can allow a vector for pathogens. Lawns that are mowed too short can be weakened, allowing diseases to take over. Lawns that are mowed too long can hold moisture creating an environment for diseases to spread.
Watering practices play an important role in how to control diseases. Light, infrequent watering creates a more humid environment around the grass blades, which encourages fungus development. Infrequent deep watering is preferred. Watering in the evening, especially in humid area does not allow the grass blade area to dry out quickly. It is best to water early in the morning thus a quicker time for the grass blade area to dry out.
Fertilization can also play a role in how to help control disease. Certain fungi are favored by high nitrogen rates while others are favored by low nitrogen rates. Fertilization should be applied at a minimum required rate for adequate growth.
There is no simple way of how to keep grass from getting diseases. Proper maintenance and an understanding of how lawn diseases occur it can help go a long way to keep a lawn free of disease.Excessive thatch favor grass diseases. Spores of diseases are produced in large numbers in the thatch layer. Keeping thatch to a minimum helps cut down disease development.
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