Lawn fungus - Knowledgebase Question

Pelican Rapids, Mi
Question by bhabspr
June 30, 2010
We have been fighting with a fungus in our lawn - live in Otter Tail County, MN - use lake water - in the past we have watered at night but this year usually only water early morning. Other than a fungicide, what else can we do? The fungicide is getting expensive to keep buying.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Watering at night can encourage fungal diseases because the lawn remains wet for extended periods of time. I'm glad you've changed your watering schedule to early morning. This will give the lawn a chance to dry out during the day. If fungicides are not effective you may need to aerate your lawn to help the soil surface dry out, or dethatch to remove the layer of thatch on the surface of the soil which may be holding too much water against the stems and roots of your turfgrass. If you decide to aerate, rent a core aerator that removes plugs from your lawn. Leave the plugs on the lawn - they will dissolve on their own. After aerating spread a thin layer of compost or sand over the lawn. This material will work its way down into the holes left by the plugs and give excess water a place to collect and drain. If you're still having problems at the end of the summer, rent a dethatcher or power rake to remove the excess thatch then overseed your lawn. I think the combination of these two treatments will help your lawn grow lush and thick and be more resistant to fungus. Hope so!

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