When it comes to dealing with lawn diseases, the old saying holds true: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It's easier to prevent lawn diseases than to cure them. As winter gives way to spring, following these basic guidelines for a strong lawn will help you protect your lawn from fungal diseases.
Nutrient deficiencies can weaken grass plants, so feed at least 2 times per year to keep your lawn strong and vigorous. If your lawn is used often for activities involving kids, pets and parties, feed 3-4 times per year with Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Foods. A nourished lawn is better able to fend off diseases. To see the feeding program recommended for your lawn, use our My Scotts Lawn Program. You can also download the My Lawn app for your smartphone to customize and track your personal lawn care program.
Many diseases infect lawns when the grass blades are wet. To keep grass blades dry, water only if needed and water deeply so you can go longer between watering. Watering in the morning, between 6AM and 10AM, is best since the grass blades have plenty of time to dry during the day. Especially avoid watering late in the day or at night, since the grass blades will stay wet all night long, encouraging leaf diseases.
Mowing too short weakens the grass plant, making it more susceptible to infection. Most grass types should be mowed using a high (3-4 inch) mowing setting. Bermudagrass grass in the south should be mowed using a lower (1.5 to 2 inches) mower setting and zoysiagrass should be mowed using a middle (2-3 inches) setting. Mow often enough so that no more than ⅓ the height of the grass blade is removed at one time.
To control lawn diseases such as brown patch and dollar spot - or help prevent them if you have had disease problems in previous years - apply a fungicide made for lawns. Scotts® Lawn Fungus Control provides systemic disease prevention and control. You can apply any time on all lawn types. Just be sure to follow the directions on the label.