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Video:How to Identify Lawn Diseases

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Lawn diseases should be identified immediately in order to protect your grass. This video will provide some tips on identifying lawn disease.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Identify Lawn Diseases

I'm John Knutson, owner of Green Thumb Lawn Care, and I'm here today for About.com talking about diseases on grass. 

Causes of Lawn Disease

Most diseases occur when the grasses stop growing. If we get the grass to grow at a fast rate, it's going too fast for disease to take control. So you get diseases when it's really hot and humid. You get it in winter under ice, in the snow.

Lawn Disease: Snow Mold

In the spring, we can have pink and gray snow mold. They form under the snow and they do damage between 32 and 48 degrees, and they are using reddish or gray black. If you rake those out with the rake, the grass will come back very quickly and you'll have a minimal damage. The real problem is to notice always when the snow melts in the spring. It's just called green pink snow mold and gray snow mold.

Lawn Disease: Red Thread

Just getting the grass off the ground and up in the air quickly will minimize the damage to the plant. Red thread actually looks like mycelium. It grows out of the leaf of the plant and if you look at it very carefully, looks like a very thin thread coming out of the leaf and it happens mostly in Prine rye when the grass plant isn't growing. 

So if you have extended periods of overcast weather or very sunny weather for long time, any one type of weather for long period of time, you tend to get diseases. If you have changing weather, you have almost no diseases. 

Identifying and Treating Fungus

Fungicides are chemicals that will tend to make it so that the funguses can't be produced but different fungicides are used for different funguses and generally in a lawn, you will have a certain type of grass and a certain type of environment, so you will have the same fungus year after year, or at least you will get to know that lawn and get to know what funguses there are. 

So you may have to go to the county extension office to identify the fungus first. Once you identify it that's a fungus, you probably have to worry about maybe one other but it is unlikely that in a lawn you're going to have to worry about more than one or two funguses.

You can use a county extension office to help you identify the fungus and once you know the fungus, then it's easy to go to a nursery or hardware store and get a fungicide that will protect for that fungus. 

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