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Your Turf Management Professionals

Dealing with Common Lawn Fungus

Why Does Fungus Happen?

Our grasses in the upper Midwest are considered cool-season grasses. They perform best when temperatures are cool – under 75 degrees. So when things heat up and dry out the grass gets really stressed and becomes more susceptible to diseases. Fungus can often be controlled by addressing the environmental stresses that are causing them (i.e. heat and dryness). The 2 common funguses in the Sioux Falls area and region are pictured below.

What is the Solution for Lawn Fungus?

  • If natural rainfall does not occur, we recommend watering ½”, twice per week in the early morning hours.
  • Apply a fungicide at the first signs of the fungus.
  • Mow at 3” and catch your clippings during fungal breakouts.
  • Hand rake every fall & spring. Raking the leaves in the fall helps ensure that any fungus spores that may have been on tree leaves won’t over-winter on the lawn. Raking in the spring gets rid of all the dead, matted down grass left over from winter, thus reducing the fungus spores.
  • Aerate the yard every other year. Fungus spores will over-winter in the thatch layer, so keeping on top of the thatch layer by aerating will decrease your chances of an outbreak.

Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot starts out as small, brown circular patches. If you look closely at an affected blade of grass, you’ll see that the tip is dying back and that there’s a yellow hourglass shaped band going across the grass blade. If left untreated, the small circular patches can turn into large areas.

Leaf Blight

Example of Leaf Blight on a lawn.

Leaf Blight starts out as irregular shaped, brown patches. If you look closely at an affected blade of grass, you’ll see that the tip is dying back and that there are red, black, or brown spots on the blade. If left untreated, areas of leaf blight will turn into large areas.

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