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WARNING this article is for those who want a great looking lawn!
Lawn diseases need three basic needs to cause damage.
1. The pathogen bacteria or fungi needs to be present
2. The right host or plant, lawn variety must be present
3. The right environmental conditions temperature, water, must be present.
When all these three become available the bacterial, fungi or pathogen can become active and cause damage to the host plant or lawn variety.
To help prevent lawn diseases the right cultural practices must be applied to reduce the susceptibility of lawn fungus.
For those lawn fanatics that want a perfect lawn this is what’s required to achieve your goal of a perfect lawn. The rest will experience mediocre results.
In my over 10 years of experience I have found 3 common practices that lead to lawn diseases and they have nothing to do with pesticides.
Proper Mowing helps prevent lawn disease
The right mowing height and frequency for the cultivar of lawn that is different for every type of lawn, However there proven principals that work for every type of lawn.
Never allow lawns to grow longer than it would take to remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. Removing more than 33% of the leaf blade will cause stress by removing stored food supply and make you lawn more susceptible to lawn disease, if you allow it to grow to long further than the 1/3 rule, because you cant have it mowed more often either because of time or or both then this will cause rotting because the the right amount of light cannot penetrate.
Don’t commit the fatal mistake of mowing your lawn really short so you don’t have to mow it as often. This is a practice known as scalping and it is the number 1 contributor of a hideous lawn and lawn diseases.
If you prefer a short lawn you need to a lawn that is designed for short mowing.
Here is the harsh reality! Your lawn doesn’t care about your schedule, budget, thoughts or feelings all your it wants what it wants when and how it wants it.
You either treat it like it wants to be treated or it will not thrive.
Example: If your variety requires to be cut at 3 inches in height never allow it to grow past 4.5 inches in height.
Make sure you mower blade is sharp all the time, a dull mower blade will shred the leaf blade and create open wounds where pathogens can enter, not only that but created a stressed leaf blade with a weakened defense system more susceptible to lawn diseases.
Proper Watering to prevent lawn disease
The right amount of water, frequency and timing. Avoid watering at in the evening, lawns which are watered in the evening will experience more frequent lawn diseases because was wet all night with lower temperatures, its like having your foot in a wet boot all day your going to get an infection.
Water first thing in the morning between 4 am and 6 am, so by sunrise the sun will burn off the excess water on the leaf blade and reduce the susceptibility of lawn diseases.
Length of watering to prevent lawn diseases
Proper watering length of time is important soil type, temperature, rain and drainage are things you need to consider in order to properly your lawn the front of your homes lawn may drain faster than the lawn in the back or sides of your home.
A cheep tool to use is a soil moisture tester you can pick up for to at many home improvement stores. With it you can test the soil in front, sides and back of your home or property to see how much water is in the soil and adjust your irrigation accordingly.
Frequency of watering prevents lawn diseases