As the fall colors begin to emerge in the leaves of trees, you may notice your lawn taking on a peculiar yellow-orange tinge. This, unfortunately, is not normal seasonal color change, but rather a fungal lawn disease that can be hard on your grass. Learn how to recognize rust disease when you encounter it and, better yet, how to prevent it from showing up on your lawn in the first place.
Recognizing “Rust” On Your Plants
As you may have guessed, rust disease does not cause your plants to grow actual rust, but the substance that does result from this disease does look very much like it. It will even come off on your hands in a powdery orange form, in the same way that rust does.
Look for the rust-like color on your grass in shady areas, as fungal diseases tend to prefer the shade. Rust disease begins with subtle yellow spotting on the blades of grass, which spread and darken over time to the hue that gives the disease its name. Fine, dark-colored grasses such as ryegrass, bluegrass and fine fescue are more susceptible to rust disease than other types.
Helping Your Lawn to Reject Rust
- Mix Up Your Seeds – Seeding your lawn with a variety of grass types will help discourage rust disease, as it prefers darker, more delicate grass types and spreads easily when the entire lawn is composed of grasses like ryegrass, bluegrass or fall fescue only.
- Fertilize – Fertilizing your grass will keep it growing quickly and give rust disease less time to spread.
- Mow Regularly – Mowing regularly clips off diseased grass and encourages new, rust-free grass to grow.
- Pick Up After Mowing – Picking up grass clippings will remove fungal spores from grass that is already infected and keep them from spreading to other areas.
- Use Fungicides – Fungicides can be used to eliminate rust disease as well. When dealing with rust disease, you will probably need to apply fungicides more than once.
To get rid of rust disease by adding new seed, fertilizing your lawn and/or applying a fungicide treatment, call your local lawn care professionals at Green Lawn! And find out more about our season specials and offers!
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