Dealing with Florida Lawn Diseases in St. Augustine Grass
Florida’s climate and sandy soil can make diseases a common lawn issue for homeowners throughout the Greater Melbourne area. Proper lawn maintenance and catching signs of disease early are the best ways to keep your St. Augustine lawn looking lush and green all year long.
Brown Patch Fungus
For St. Augustine grass in Florida, brown patch can be a common lawn issue. This fungus affects all warm-season grasses, but St. Augustine lawns are a favorite. It’s most likely to occur in Florida lawns from November to May when temperatures are below 80 degrees. Brown patch fungus is encouraged by high humidity, excessive moisture, or rainfall, making Florida a prime spot. It affects the leaf blade rather than the root systems and appears in small, circular patches of yellow to brown grass that expand in diameter. Lesions on the grass blades will be visible in affected areas of the lawn. Annual aeration, especially during fall, can help limit brown patch in St. Augustine grass. You’ll also want to avoid overwatering, especially with Florida rainfall.
Dollar Spot Fungus
More common in early fall or spring, dollar spot fungus affects all warm-season grasses. It’s active when temperatures range from 70 to 80 degrees and extended periods of moisture can encourage it. For Florida lawns, back-to-back days of cloudy, rainy days, and morning dew are the perfect combination for dollar spot fungus to pop up. Properly named, dollar spot appears in yellow spots, about the size of a silver dollar, sprinkled through the lawn. St. Augustine grass lawns mowed too low or have excessive thatch build-up can be more susceptible. Dollar spot may also be a sign of a nutrient deficiency in the soil and can be treated with a nitrogen fertilizer.
Fairy Ring is a fungus that affects all warm-season grass types, especially St. Augustine lawns in regions with sandy soil. This disease is caused by organic matter present in the soil and creates large rings in the lawn, with discolored grass or mushrooms around the perimeter. There are three types of fairy rings. Type 1 rings normally have a zone of dead grass inside a dark green ring. The type 2 rings only have a band of dark green grass and may not always have mushrooms present. Lastly, type 3 fairy rings do not have a zone of dead grass or dark green, but a ring of mushrooms will be present.
Mushrooms can pose a poisonous risk and should always be removed or mowed over. Fairy rings can expand in size over time and are mostly active during spring and fall. A healthy lawn is never a welcome place for lawn disease so good maintenance practices can help limit fairy ring fungus. Lawn watering, fertilization, and annual aeration are crucial to maintaining a healthy soil.
Red Thread Fungus
Red Thread Fungus is a lawn disease caused by environmental stress or low nitrogen in the soil. It appears as reddish-pink strands throughout what looks like dead grass. But while red thread fungus doesn’t kill your grass, it’s an eyesore that can lead to other various lawn issues. Red thread fungus can live in the thatch layer and spread by mowing. One way to limit red thread fungus is with annual aeration in spring, and even in fall for Florida lawns. Dethatching can also help to break down thatch build-up, as well as applying a nitrogen fertilizer.
Professional Lawn Care and Lawn Disease Control Near Melbourne, Florida
Homeowners in the Greater Melbourne area in need of professional lawn care for a St. Augustine lawn can rely on Pearce Lawn Care. Our team of skilled lawn care specialists can identify a fungal disease in St. Augustine grass and make sure it’s stopped in its tracks. With our lawn care services, your lawn will have all the necessary fertilization and weed control to thrive throughout Florida’s weather. Since 1994, we’ve provided lawn care, lawn pest control, aeration, and more to homeowners throughout Melbourne, Palm Bay, Malabar, Indian Harbour Beach, Grant-Valkaria, Satellite Beach, and surrounding areas. We offer lawn aeration services in spring and fall to keep your Florida lawn healthy year-round. Contact us today to get a free quote.