Lawns in the Charlotte area are very susceptible to fungus.
Tall Fescue, Zoysia and Bermuda are the predominant grass types in the area. Under the right conditions, each can be damaged by soil borne fungus.
Fescue turf can suffer severe permanent damage from Brown Patch fungus. Dollar Spot is a disease that attacks Bermuda and Grey Leafspot can devastate Zoysia lawns.
For any lawn disease to establish and cause damage the right environmental conditions must be present. Surface soil moisture, humidity and temperature are the key ingredients. We typically see these conditions beginning in May. PM thunderstorms, excessive heavy rainfall combined with night time temps above 60 and high humidity will bring the fungus among us.
The fungus spreads by plant to plant contact. The thicker the lawn the quicker the spread.
Preventative fungicides are available as an add-on to the Standard Program and are included in the Monthly Program. Prevention is a more efficient and less expensive way to control fungus. The fungus control products we use are very expensive but they work.
Compacted soil, low PH, thatch build up and excessive watering will all make the fungus problem more intense and last longer. Typically when the weather conditions clear up the fungus will dry up, but the damage has already been done.
Are You At Risk for Fungus Damage
For any fungus to cause damage, three factors must be present. First, the pathogen must exist in the soil. Fungus spores are present in all soil types in all areas of the country. Second, there must be a susceptible host plant. While Tall Fescue is susceptible to brown patch, Bermuda is not. Third, environmental conditions must be favorable for disease development. Night time temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees, high humidity and wet conditions on the soil surface are the perfect conditions for brown patch. The disease symptoms will clear up when the weather conditions that activated the fungus change.
A pathogen must exist in the soil
Susceptible host plant