Fungus is a frequent lawn issue and a huge cause for concern for lawn owners. Different types of lawn fungus can present themselves in various ways. Once an infestation begins, you need to control it quickly. There are several lawn fungus treatment options like baking soda solutions, neem oil, or compost, and numerous way to prevent it.
What is Grass Fungus and How To Spot It
Essentially, grass fungus diseases can strike your lawn in a number of forms. You could find dry, brown patches or rings and slimes in your yard. The fungus can attack the grass as well as the soil. You can easily identify grass fungus as there are some classic symptoms of the disease:
- Look for any thin, frayed, distorted or discolored grass blades showing up in your lawn. You might also be be able to see the soil beneath them.
- Brown, yellow, white patches, or rings in the grass
- Check for discoloration on blades and stems.
- Black, purple, gray, orange, or red spots on the grass can be a sign of leaf spot.
- If you notice dark, slimy, greasy and wet looking grass, it probably indicates a grease spot infection.
- Check if the grass is getting a black, pink, gray powdery or threadlike covering. This may be a sign of powdery mildew, red thread or pink patch.
What Can Cause Grass Fungus
Fungus is naturally found on lawns as it is an active microorganism. Sometimes, it is harmless and even beneficial for the grass, as it can supply nutrients and promote growth.
However, in certain conditions, fungi can cause diseases. Let’s take a look at the most common causes for a grass fungus infestation:
- Poor weather conditions- too much humidity or extremely high temperature.
- Mowing grass improperly or too low.
- Using the wrong fertilizier.
- Excessive watering.
- Compacted soil.
Are there any natural remedies for grass fungus?
There are several organic remedies that you can try for treating grass fungus. Some experts are of the view that simply improving lawn care, and boosting your soil can also help in getting rid of the fungi.
Can I Use Soapy Water as Fungicide Spray?
Yes, you can use soapy water as a treatment for fungi in your lawn. You can use laundry or dish detergent mixed with water.
You can create your own fungus treatment solution at home by mixing a few, simple ingredients. What you need:
- 1 tbsp of baking soda
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- One drop of liquid dish detergent
- 1 gallon of water in a spray bottle
Mix all the contents to create your solution and then properly shake it. Apply the spray to your lawn and to infected areas daily for seven to ten days.
Does Milk Kill Fungus?
Milk is an organic fungicide and can be very effective at killing powdery mildew. You can create a spray by mixing the following two ingredients:
- 1 cup skimmed milk (do not use full-fat milk as skim milk helps prevent any foul odor)
- 9 cups of water
Every other week, apply this mixture to the lawn. Using too much milk can result in sooty mould, so stick to the exact recipe.
Does Cornmeal Work For Grass Fungus?
For brown patches in your lawn, you can rely on horticultural cornmeal. This remedy helps with the fungus, and also provides the grass with healthy nutrients. So, how does the cornmeal treatment work? Essentially, it attracts the Trichoderma fungus which helps kill the harmful fungi in your lawn.
For every 1000 square feet of lawn, you would need about 10-20 pounds of cornmeal. The results should be visible in about three weeks. Apply 10 to 20 pounds of cornmeal per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Can You Use Neem oil as a Fungicide?
Some people swear by neem oil when it comes to the control of fungal diseases. For your lawn, you would need:
- 2 ounces (or 4 tablespoons) of neem oil
- 1 gallon of water
Apply this mixture by spraying it all over the lawn.
How to Treat Lawn Fungus With Baking soda?
Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is another effective fungicide. It helps in destroying the fungal spores as it is an alkaline which disrupts the fungal cells ions. You can also use it as a preventative measure against fungi.
However, be careful not to use too much baking soda as it can alter the pH levels of the soil. Simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one gallon of water. Spray the infected area for three days.
Will Vinegar Kill Lawn Fungus?
Vinegar contains a strong, acetic acid that helps it kill and damage fungus. It can definitely be used to treat fungal diseases in a lawn. However, you need to use it in moderation, as vinegar can be strong enough to damage your lawn.
You should dilute the vinegar with some other ingredients when using it as a fungicide. Combine 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 3 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons baking powder and 2 quarts of water. Mix the ingredients and then spray the infected area.
Are there any ways to prevent a lawn fungus?
Always avoid overwatering and only water the grass when necessary. 1 inch of water every week should be enough for most lawns. Also try not to dry out your lawn as this can also make it prone to infections.
Try to keep the grass at a desirable height and do not cut it too low. Try mowing one-third of the grass blades at a time.
Remember to aerate the soil once every year to prevent the chances of soil becoming compacted.
Another important tip is to water your lawn in the mornings, ideally from 6am to 10am. This ensures that the water is properly absorbed and that the sun comes out and dries it on time.
Finally, choose the right grass type according to your soil, climate and light conditions. The ideal grass type will be stronger and better at fighting off diseases.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.