Dollar spot lawn disease is a disease that can easily impact all manner of turfgrasses, and it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. This lawn fungus turns healthy green lawns into patchwork, creating unsightly spots and risking the health of your entire lawn.
At Earth Development, we help business property owners across the Midwest keep their lawns and yards healthy and attractive – and in this piece, we’ll explore dollar spot disease, how you can spot it, how to prevent it, and how to get rid of it.
What Is Dollar Spot Disease?
Dollar spot disease is a kind of lawn fungus that gets its name from the fact that it causes small dollar-shaped spots that are brown in color. It almost looks as though a lawn has dollar coins scattered all over it.
During the early stages of the spread of this fungus on a lawn, the spots stay the same size as a dollar coin – but as the disease spreads, the patches tend to join together to create much larger patches. Sometimes these patches reach several feet in size.
The fungus kills leaf blades but not the roots, and doesn’t damage the soil, thankfully – however, if dead grass remains in the soil, so does the fungus.
Now, let’s take a look at how to identify and treat dollar spot disease.
How to Identify Dollar Spot Disease
The first step in preventing the dollar spot disease cycle is identifying it. The obvious way to identify this fungus is to look for the individual brown spots on your lawn. If you catch the fungus at this stage, it means you have caught it earlier.
If you catch it even earlier, you may notice an hourglass shape band across the width of an individual blade of grass. This band is typically a light brown or red color.
What Causes Dollar Spot Disease
There are three common reasons why dollar spot disease occurs. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Wet Conditions
This fungus likes wet and humid conditions. A combination of naturally-occurring dew and wet weather, as well as late-day irrigation and over-watering, are common factors in the development of this fungus. The longer water stays on your lawn, the more likely it is to develop this fungus.
2. Lacking Lawn Food
No lawn can be healthy without sufficient nutrients, which is why lawn fertilization is so important. When grass doesn’t have sufficient nutrients it is more likely to be affected by dollar spot fungus, simply because it is weak.
3. Mowing Too Close
Finally, remember not to mow your lawn too close. A short lawn, with blades under three inches in length, is more likely to be affected by dollar spot fungus.
How Do You Treat Dollar Spot Disease
While the best dollar spot disease control method is preventing it in the first place, if you already have it, then it’s important to know how to treat it. The best way to start treating this disease is to address some of the causes we mentioned above.
- Water Less Frequently: Water your lawn less frequently and do it earlier in the day. Too much water too late in the day creates boggy ground, doesn’t give the water time to evaporate throughout the day or be absorbed by the plant, and makes a fungus-friendly, humid environment.
- Fertilize Your Lawn: Using a good quality fertilizer and applying it correctly will give your lawn the nutrients it needs to grow and to defend itself from fungus. Healthy grass is less likely to be affected in the first place and will also more easily bounce back after you get rid of a fungal infection.
- Don’t Mow Too Close: Adjust the cutting height on your mower to between three and four inches for most grasses. The only grass that can be cut much shorter is zoysiagrass. Don’t ever cut off more than one-third of the length of your grass at once.
- Hire Experts: The best, most effective way to treat dollar spot fungus is to hire professionals who know how to deal with this properly. Our team at Earth Development understands how to maintain a healthy lawn and to use a fungicide that kills the fungal infection but doesn’t hurt your lawn.
How To Prevent Dollar Spot Disease
Finally, here are some good tips for preventing dollar spot turf disease, broken down into helpful bullet points.
- Mow in the morning to help remove dew and prevent too much moisture from building up in the grass and the soil.
- Improve air circulation in your yard by pruning shrubs and trees that are close to your lawn.
- When overseeding, use the seed for a species of grass that is less susceptible to the fungus.
- Try lightweight rolling.
- Use organic fertilizers, composts, and biofungicides to help prevent the build-up of the fungus.
If you’re uncertain about any of these steps, consider hiring an expert from Earth Development. Our team of professionals maintains your lawn throughout the year, handling every element of lawn care and treatment.
Our Experts Maintain and Protect Your Company Lawn
We know that managing a lawn can be tough – and preventing and treating lawn disease is even tougher.
At Earth Development, our team of landscapers understand exactly how to treat all lawn types, and keep your property looking fantastic all year round.
To find out more or for a free quote, call the Earth Development team today at (866) 475-2807.