How to Get Rid of Dollar Spot Fungus


There are many reasons you’ll find brown patches on your lawn. Unfortunately, one of the most common culprits is dollar spot fungus.

What is Dollar Spot Fungus?

Dollar spot fungus is a common lawn pathogen caused by the organism Sclerotinia homoeocarpa.

It affects many grass species, but especially turfgrass, such as bentgrass, fescue and bluegrass. The disease is most often seen during periods of high humidity and stress. It typically appears as circular patches of thinned, light tan to brown discoloration on the grass blades. In severe cases it can kill off large areas of the lawn while in less severe infestations it may only cause slight yellowing or wilting of the grass.

How to Identify Dollar Spot Fungus

dollar spot fungusThe dollar spot fungus is one of the easier causes to identify because it is aptly named after the silver dollar-sized patches it leaves. You’ll find it in the early spring through late fall, especially when the ground is dry but the air is humid. And it’s common on cool and warm-season grasses and most aggressive on golf course turf.

How to Get Rid of Dollar Spot Fungus

There are a few things you can do to help your lawn recover from this disease.

1. Use An Anti-Fungal Product As Dollar Spot Treatment

Using an anti-fungal product on your lawn can significantly help to reduce the occurrence of dollar spot fungus. Most anti-fungal products work by inhibiting the growth and spread of fungal spores and destroying them before they cause harm. When applying an anti-fungal product, it is important to follow all instructions closely, as different products vary in their application methods. Generally, you should apply a single application over the entire lawn area evenly. The product should also be watered in deeply immediately after application for maximum efficacy.

2. Fertilize your lawn to make it healthier

In addition to using an anti-fungal product on your lawn, fertilizing can help to prevent future outbreaks of dollar spot fungus. Fertilizing with a complete fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) helps keep the soil healthy and improves overall grass health. This increased vigor will help create a thicker lawn that is more resistant to disease.

3. Avoid watering in the late afternoon and evening

Additionally, making sure that your lawn is getting 1 – 1 ½ inches of water per week; this ensures that the soil has enough moisture while not drowning the grass with too much water. It’s also important to avoid watering in late afternoon or evening as this can lead to increased incidence of disease due to cooler night time temperatures increasing humidity levels which encourages fungal growth.

How to Prevent Dollar Spot Fungus

Using preventative measures is the best way to fight off this lawn fungus.

1. Water Deeply, But Infrequently

Watering deeply, but infrequently is essential to preventing dollar spot fungus. Ideally, you should be watering your lawn no more than once or twice a week, as over-watering can cause the grass’s root system to become weak and prone to attacking by funguses like dollar spot. You should also use a sprinkler system that allows you to water in different areas of the lawn at different time intervals; this will ensure that each area of the lawn gets an adequate amount of water without risking overwatering or runoff.

2. Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn is another important step in preventing dollar spot fungus. This involves perforating the soil with small holes, which allows air and nutrients to reach the root systems more easily, making them stronger and better able to resist fungi like dollar spot. Depending on the size of your lawn and its condition, you may want to aerate it up to four times a year; generally speaking though once every two years is sufficient for most homeowners.

3. Fertilize

Finally, fertilizing your lawn with nitrogen-fertilizer is an important part of warding off dollar spot fungus. Nitrogen helps promote healthy blade growth, thickens the turf and increases resistance against disease – all things that will help protect against unwanted fungal invasions like dollar spot! Generally speaking, late springtime is usually when you should apply nitrogen-fertilizer as that’s when you can benefit most from its effects.

Do You Want A Green Lawn?

You’ve come to the right company! At Green Lawn Fertilizing, we specialize in creating the greenest lawns on the block. We offer a Green Lawn Program that includes eight applications throughout the year to give you that yard you’ve always desired. Call us today at 888-581-5296 for a free quote.

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Lawn Disease Guide

Learn the hallmark characteristics of diseases that are common to mid-Atlantic turfs.