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Lawn Diseases

Believe it or not, but lawns also get sick. Call us, the lawn doctor when in doubt.


Brown patch is a type of lawn disease that only affects the foliage of the grass and not the crown or roots of the grass. It’s caused by a type of fungus and usually sets in once grass has been wet for long periods of time and gets mowed too short. The first sign of this fungus is a purply-gray ring of about 50cm in diameter. In grass that has been less wet and that’s cut a bit longer, brown patch  can be several meters in diameter. Mycelium , a type of white growth, would be visible on dew covered grass early in the morning or if you look closely at the leaf blades, there could also be small tan to brown lesions on the leaves.


Dollar spot is also caused by a fungus. This fungus affects the leaves of the grass, but doesn’t damage the rest of the plant. It is most commonly found on closely mowed lawns and can often be seen on fine textured grass where it looks like round, brown and somewhat sunken spots on the lawn, approximately the size of a large coin. In coarse textured grasses that get mowed a bit longer, the dead spots will be a bit bigger. These spots are also often seen in clusters. On the leaf blades, it looks like light, tan coloured lesions with a reddish-brown border. Cobweb-like Mycelium growths can also be seen on the affected areas when there’s dew on the grass.


A fairy ring is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings can grow to over 10m in diameter as they become stable over time, with the fungus seeking food underground to make it grow. The most common sign is the circular row of mushrooms that grow on your lawn, with a circular dead patch of grass around the edges of the circle.


Pythium  Blight is also called ‘cottony blight’ or ‘grease spot’. All  warm and cool season grasses are susceptible to attack. The occurance of Pythium  Blight is most common during hot, humid conditions and where there is limited air circulation. Poorly drained soil is also beneficial to the development of this disease. Look out for small spots or patches of blighted grass that suddenly appear during warm and wet periods. In the early stages of the disease, the leaves of the grass will appear water-soaked, greasy, slimy and dark.The leaves will then start shrivelling up with the patches on your lawn that will start fading from green to light brown as the disease develops.


Rust looks like an orange or yellowy-orange powder, which is basically spores, on the leaves of the grass. Rust typically develops on lawns that are growing very slowly. Also look out for a yellow, red or brown appearance on the lawn in certain areas. If you look closely, you will be able to see the blister-like bumps, which easily rubs off on your hand. These are rust spores that can easily be tracked into homes and onto other lawns and plants, so take care to treat it immediately, before it can spread.