There are several types of fungus that can be lethal to lawns, including fairy ring, rust, pink snow mould and slime mould. Lawn fungus infestations can progress rapidly, leaving brown patches and ultimately destroying your lawn. You can treat and prevent lawn fungus, saving yourself the hassle and expense of hiring a lawn professional once the fungus has grown out of control.
Treating Lawn Fungus
At the first sign of fungus on your lawn, you should take immediate action. You can consult Consumer Report's guide to common lawn problems to identify what kind of fungus might be growing on your lawn before you take the necessary steps to treat the problem. Each type of fungus will respond to a different method of treatment. For example, fairy ring, which is characterised by a darker green semicircle of turf, with small mushrooms and brown grass just inside the ring, should be mowed and raked to remove mushrooms and then fertilised deeply. Rust, in which red and brown pustules appear on the grass blades, should be treated by mowing the lawn and watering deeply and infrequently until the disease disappears. Another fungal infection called red thread turns blades tan, and the grass appears scorched. Red thread is best treated with deep watering and regular fertilisation until the disease subsides.
Preventing Lawn Fungus
Once you have treated any pre-existing lawn fungus, you can take steps to prevent future outbreaks. Test your soil to see if it has the proper pH balance and nutrient make-up. Soil that is lacking in nutrients or chemically imbalanced is more prone to fungus infestations. You should also make sure your lawn has proper drainage. Fungus grows in moist, warm areas, and if water is allowed to sit on your lawn without being drained, it creates a breeding ground for fungus. Lastly, make sure to keep your lawnmower's blades very sharp. If your mower has dull blades, it can cause jagged cuts, which can kill grass and also create an ideal place for spores to form.