Common Lawn Diseases and Ways to Prevent Them Common Lawn Diseases and Ways to Prevent Them

Lawn diseases can affect your lawn's appearance. However, there are ways to combat them. Usually problems develop because the yard isn't aerated, contains too much thatch, receives either too much or not enough water and isn't mowed or fertilized on a routine basis.


Rust is a common lawn disease that typically affects ryegrasses and Kentucy bluegrass. As the name suggests, the lawn will develop a rusty color or an orange-red appearance. Rust usually develops on shady lawns where the soil is compacted and not fertilized regularly. In order to maintain your lawn and prevent the formation of rust, you shoud aerate your yard regularly and reduce the amount of shade. Make it a point to cut your grass often and use a bag to catch the clippings. Also, fertilize your yard on a routine basis, making sure you include nitrogen in the mix.

Grease Spot

Grease spot typically affects yards that are located in more humid locales. Its name aptly describes the disease, which makes its mark on lawns in brown "greasy" patches, each surrounded by a white cotton-like fungus. Appearing in strips over the yard, the disease can be prevented by frequent aeration. Water your yard only in the morning hours and get rid of any extra thatch too. It also helps to prune away or remove any shrubs or trees that are producing too much shade. When fertilizing your lawn, you'll need to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the formula.

Red Thread

This common disease generally affects Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrasses and fescue-type grasses. You will often see it appear during times when it's cooler and the air has a higher level of humidity. As you might guess, the fungus appears in reddish threads, which gather around grass blades, sewing them together so to speak. After a period of time, the disease will turn your lawn brown. In order to prevent red thread, you need to aerate your yard frequently, mow the grass on a regular basis, get rid of the thatch, prune away any plants that are making the yard too shady, and maintain a regular fertilization schedule. Make sure to include potassium and nitrogen in the fertilizer's formula.

Powdery Mildew

Known to affect Kentucy bluegrass or areas of shade, powdery mildew distinguishes itself by making the grass look like it's just been powdered with talc. If you don't treat the problem, your grass will eventually die. Therefore, to keep powdery mildew from occurring, you need to water your lawn in the morning, aerate it regularly, get rid of shade-producing plants, and determine if the drainage in your yard is adequate.

Pythium Blight

Pythium blight is often seen on dew-covered mornings or nights, resembling a cobweb in random spots in the yard. It causes grass to turn brown and withered, and can be brought about by watering your yard too much or by overfertilization. The disease can also occur as a result of cutting your grass when it's overly damp.


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