The bright green grass is the highlight of every healthy lawn. Every lawn owner dream of a clean and green lawn. Is it always the same? Healthy and green. No, probably not. Even professional lawn managers agree that problems are inevitable with lawn management. Most of these problems are caused by some kind of pest, fungus, or animals. A discolored leaf blade is a very common indication of a lawn problem. If you find something similar then check out for identification and cure.
A little bit of effort and thorough understanding can help you out with a long tedious repair job.
Today we will discuss common Lawn Grass problems: Discolored leaf Blades. To understand these problems we have to know the common mistakes we generally do on our lawn.
Read my previous post:- How to Look after your Lawn in Summer? (With Steps)
Common mistakes in lawn management
- Overwatering and Underwatering.
- Too much fertilization, little to no fertilization, and wrong use of fertilizers.
- Improper mowing
- Irregular weeding and lawn cleaning
- The silliest mistake is wrong seed selection.
Trust me I have done most of these mistakes, sometimes twice. The easiest way to solve any problem is by facing it and believe me, it’s not always easy.
All the problems in a lawn start with the seed selection. If you choose the wrong grass seed type then everything followed will make you cry.
The best solution to this problem is reading and learning about native grass varieties. You should also check the Soil Ph of your lawn before any seed purchase.
Next, Keep in mind Underwatering or under fertilization will not kill the grass but anything over than limit can. Improper and untimely mowing is a very common mistake. we know it still we don’t correct it. Mowing keeps the lawn clean and healthy.
An unmowed lawn can become a small grassland within weeks. It’s your duty to keep the lawn clean and tidy so be active and don’t avoid your task. You can follow my lawn care guide for a quick change.
6 Reasons for discolored Lawn Grass (Problems)
If you have checked all the common mistakes then most likely you will not face any severe problems. Still, if you find any color full patch then it might be a fungus. Read Carefully and identify your problems with the symptoms given below.
Check out my favorite lawn grass fertilizer on amazon.
Agent: Fungus- Puccinia sp. or Uromyces sp.
Rust in the lawn starts in midsummer and lasts till fall. Most of the time it is related to high heat and humidity. Several patches of rusty orange grass appear on the lawn within few days. It is not the grass that turns yellow. In fact, the deposition of orange, yellow spores over the leaves makes the grass look pale.
- The Grass blades become thin and weak. Small yellow-orange bumps can be seen on either side of the blades.
- The entire patch or just a few spots turns orange or brown. Healthy grass turns pale yellow within days. The grass will lose bright green color and looks yellowish.
- Orange powdery spores can be seen on fingers and clothes after touching the grass surface. The yellow-orange spores get stick to the shoes and pants when you walk through the infected grass spot.
- The spores are tiny and can be easily carried all over the lawn by pets.
Rust is not deadly to the grass. In fact, it will not harm the grass unless you let it spread all over the lawn.
In worst cases, several dead patches can be observed. Generally, it cannot kill your entire lawn grass.
It is not deadly to humans and pets but sometimes can cause allergic reactions. So clean it ASAP.
Washing the powdery spores using a water jet or sprinkler should be enough. In severe cases try mixing some systemic fungicide or turmeric and cinnamon powder to treat this fungus. No chemical fungicide is required if you keep your lawn clean every week.
Sometimes just controlling the watering cycle is enough to treat this problem. It can take several weeks for the lawn to fully recover.
Agent: Fungus- Blumeria graminis
Powdery mildew is a fungus. It creates a soft greyish-white covering over the green surface. The covering looks like if the flour has been spread over the grass. It looks beautiful but can harm several garden and house plants other than lawn grass.
- The infected grass gets covered with a white powdery substance. It looks like snow but in a very small quantity.
- The grass blade especially the tips gets a fluffy grey-white sticky deposit.
- It can easily stick to the finger and clothes. The leaf can be cleaned completely just by rubbing it but doing thins with hands is simply a waste of time.
- Usually found in grass patches under a tree or some kind of shade.
- Powdery mildew prefers warm humid shade areas to thrive.
Powdery mildew is not very harmful to the grass. It can only infect the grass in shades. The infected grass generally doesn’t die, instead, it becomes weak. Grass in open areas is mostly safe from powdery mildew.
In worst cases, several dead patches can be seen in shady lawn areas. It can rarely kill your entire lawn but can damage the turfgrass. Generally, the plant becomes weak and fails to survive the upcoming winter.
Powdery mildew is quite difficult to get rid of. Actually, the spores can survive in the soil for several seasons. It is known to reappear in the same spot year after year.
The simplest and successful solution to this problem (at least for me) is controlled watering. Yes, it is simple, just stop feeding the mildew and let the soil dry. The next thing to do is regular cleaning. Sometimes increased fertilization can also worsen this problem so adjust accordingly.
Also, Read this: – Can Grass Survive Snow? Winter Lawn Care
Agent : Dreschlera sp. and Bipolaris sp.
Leaf Spot is a common problem with Kentucky turf bluegrass. It kills the grass and forms random patches. It is also known as “Melting Out”. First, several colorful spots appear on the leaf blade, and eventually, the grass will die.
- Round and oval spots appear over the grass leaf.
- The infected grass plant becomes thin, pale, and weak.
- No powdery deposit is found, so it is not easy to observe with touch.
- Different purple, brown, yellow or black colored spot of variable size appears along the central ridge of the infected grass blades.
- These spots can cover the entire grass plant. In severe cases, you can see the spots in the stem as well as on the root nodes- rhizomes.
- Leaf spot is a common problem with Kentucky Bluegrass.
- The infection resides mostly in the center but can spread to the full width of the leaf blade.
Leaf spot is harmful to the grass. It can infect the grass throughout the lawn area. The infected grass leaf will die and turn yellow-brown like a straw.
In worst cases, several dead patches can be seen all over the lawn areas. It can actually kill your entire lawn. Generally, the infected lawn loses its shine and greenish luster and most of the grass fails to survive the fall.
Proper fertilization and thorough cleaning is the only solution to this problem. Removing the infected grass in the initial days of infection is also helpful. You should burn the grass clipping, or just dig a deep hole and dump those.
Put some antifungal powder, any systemic or contact fungicide over the clippings before covering it with soil. Else the infection can spread to the root system of healthy grass.
Agent: Various Myxomycetes
Slime Mold is among common lawn grass problems. It is mostly seen in lowland damp lawn areas. If your lawn contains too much organic compost and doesn’t dry quickly then be careful. Your lawn might be an easy target for slime mold during rainy days.
- Tiny round pin-shaped fungal growth is seen on the grass leaves.
- The covering can turn yellow, black, white, purple, or orange. It makes the infected grass look different from others.
- It is commonly seen after a rainy week or whenever the humidity is high for a long.
- The Fungal structure disappears on its own within 2 weeks. It leaves yellow dead patches behind.
- The yellow grass in the infected areas feels soft instead of dry and rough.
Slime mold is harmful to the grass. It can infect the grass throughout but if you let the soil dry then it will be treated on its own. The infected leaf will die and turn yellow-brown.
Soft tiny tentacles can be seen on the infected grass in the early days. Later the structure will disappear and the leaf becomes pale yellow. Slime mold doesn’t affect the root nodes. So the grass can recover on its own.
In worst cases, several dead patches can be seen all over the lawn areas. An infected lawn may need 3-6 weeks to fully recover from Slime Mold.
Stope watering, let the soil dry completely. Feed the grass slowly and with nitrogen-rich fertilizer only. Reseed the dead spots for faster results.
Simple raking and leveling of the soil before the season will help the soil to dry, aerate and kill any spore.
Agent : Sclerotinia homeocarpa
Dollar spot is also called grass tan. It looks as if the grass leaf get tanned in the sun.
- Dry round, oval tan section over the infected leaves.
- The border of the leaf becomes rusty-brown. The leaf will eventually dry and fall off.
- The infection can spread over a 2-6 inch circular area.
- The infected area looks gray and appears dead.
- Several small infected spots can combine to form large dead patches in the lawn.
- A cobweb-like fungal structure is usually found in the infected spots. It can be observed in the early morning especially in wet soil spots.
The lawn grass can turn yellow or orange. It makes the infected grass look dry and dead.
Dollar spot is harmful to the grass, especially if not treated carefully.
Treat the soil with specific fungicides. Keep the lawn clean and hydrated. Also, reseed the lawn with a more compatible disease tolerant grass variety.
Agent : Laetisaria fuciformis
Red Threads one of the easily identifiable lawn grass problems. It is a tan problem. In simple words, the infected grass gets tan of red shades. The spot looks pinkish red.
- Round, oval, irregular patches of red-tinted tan grass. The size of the spot can vary from 2 to 24 inches.
- The infection starts from the tip and moves downwards towards the root system.
- Randon infected blades die and mix with healthy green leaves.
- It is commonly seen in shady and moist areas.
- On humid days a web, cotton candy-like pink covering appears over the infected area.
- The fungus grows from inside out of the grass. It emerges from the tip of the grass as a pink or red thread.
- This problem is common in cool wet areas. Sometimes prolonged snow and sudden heat can attract these fungi.
It is harmful to a specific spot of the lawn. The entire lawn is not usually affected. But if you let it spread then severe damage can occur.
Clean the lawn, let the soil dry. Feed the soil with high nitrogen fertilizers and water only if the soil gets completely dry.
You should also read this- How to Kill Grass Burrs? get rid of southern sandspur
Easy Solution to Lawn Grass Problems
- Start with the correct grass type. Read and learn about your local grass varieties. Understand the Ph of your lawn soil. If you are buying any new grass type. Then make sure it is safe for your lawn environment. It should be tolerant of the local fungus and pests.
- Don’t overwater. You have already read, most of the fungal growth is due to excess moisture. So make a regular schedule of watering. water only when the topsoil feels dry completely. Remember grass will not die due to lack of moisture but it will surely rot in overwatering.
- Feed your lawn with organic manure. Treat the manure with a fungicide to avoid any fungal growth. A always keep the organic covering thin. It should never be thicker than 0.5 inches.
- Mow the lawn regularly. Keep the grass short and clean. Adjust the height according to the temperature. Let it grow a little bit taller in summer and keep it short in spring and winter.
- Don’t use infected grass clippings for composting. Never let the clippings scattered over healthy grass.
- Remove any weed as soon as you see it.
- Check out these Common Fungicides that I prefer. It contains amazon affiliate links.
I hope you like my work on lawn grass problems. It is a difficult task to research and prepares such content. So if you like, give it a share and comment to support.
Do you know any other lawn grass problems? Please write your thoughts and suggestion in the comment box. I’ll be back with something more interesting. Till then, Keep reading, Keep Gardening!