As the cooler temperatures of late winter give way to the warmer and wetter weather of spring, our South Carolina lawns become vulnerable to a new threat. Lawn diseases and fungus can wreak havoc on your lawn this spring if you’re not ready for it. Persistent monitoring and fast action are the best ways to avoid damage and devastation at the hand of spring lawn diseases. Here are a few of the most common spring lawn diseases in South Carolina.
One of the most common lawn diseases to watch out for in your South Carolina lawn is brown patch. This fungal disease causes thinning patches of light-brown grass throughout your lawn. These patches are usually circular in shape and range in size from a couple inches to several feet in diameter. Brown patch affects all grass species in South Carolina and is most common in the late spring when daytime temperatures reach 75 degrees and nighttime temperatures hover around 60 degrees. The more moisture on your lawn, whether it be dew, consistent rain, or pooling water, causes the disease to grow and spread even faster.
Preventing brown patch in your South Carolina lawn comes down to proper lawn care and maintenance. Consistently mow your lawn, removing any clippings and disposing of them to avoid further spread. If your lawn has pooling water, then fix the drainage issue with an aeration service. Only water your grass in the morning to give the lawn more time for the water to evaporate during the day.
Large patch is a very similar lawn disease to brown patch. In fact, up until very recently large patch and brown patch were considered the same disease. Now we know that large patch only attacks warm-season grasses and, as the name suggests, the patches are much larger than brown patch. These patches can get as big as 25 feet in diameter, severely harming your lawn and bringing down your curb appeal. As large patch spreads, it weakens your lawn’s immune system. This leaves it open to infestations of lawn-damaging pests, infections of other lawn diseases, and invasions of nutrient-stealing weeds.
Large patch becomes more common in the early spring when temperatures are cool and there is consistent moisture from dew and rain. Cultural approaches, like consistent mowing, regular fertilization, and proper irrigation help prevent and control large patch.
One of the strangest looking spring lawn diseases in your South Carolina is fairy rings. This lawn fungus is more destructive than its name suggests. Fairy rings appear in the lawn as large circles of dark green grass. Fairy ring gets its name from the ring of mushrooms that form around those circles of affected grass. This nasty fungus causes the affected grass and soil to become hydrophobic, repelling water and causing drought-like damage. Over time, the grass inside the fairy rings dries up and dies. The worst part is that these fairy rings can come back every year, getting bigger each time. Some fairy rings have even been known to be several hundred feet in diameter.
As with large patch and brown patch, the best way to control fairy rings is with proper prevention and cultural practices. Keep your lawn healthy throughout the year to make it more resilient against diseases, pests, and environmental stress. Reduce thatch and improve drainage by getting your lawn aerated every year.
Dollar spot is another common lawn disease here in South Carolina. This spring lawn disease starts forming in the early spring when nighttime temperatures reach 50 degrees or more. It’s especially common when the lawn is too wet for too long. Dollar spot appears as small circles of bleached or straw-colored grass. This fungus girdles the grass blades, killing the grass from the tip down to the soil. If conditions persist and if the appropriate measures are not taken, more patches will appear, combining into large swathes of infected turf.
Dollar spot can stay in your lawn all year but becomes most evident during the spring. Keep your lawn free of excess moisture by ensuring you’re only watering your lawn 1 inch per week and only irrigating in the morning. Remove thatch and soil compaction with aeration services during the year. Always make sure to clean your lawn maintenance equipment after each use and remember to collect and dispose of lawn clippings to prevent further infection.
Protect Your Lawn From Spring Lawn Diseases Coastal Turf’s Help
Here at Coastal Turf, we understand South Carolina lawns and the threats they face every year. Our lawn care programs are specifically designed to provide South Carolina lawns with everything they need to boost the immune system and protect them from lawn diseases. Our fungus control services offer more targeted treatments against spring lawn diseases and fungal infections throughout the year. Prevent lawn diseases with once-per-year aeration as well!
To get started protecting your South Carolina lawn from spring lawn diseases and other fungal infections, call us at (843) 875-5000 or request a FREE estimate here. If you need more tips on disease control, lawn care, tree care, pest control, or more, then make sure to check out our comprehensive blog.