Sometimes a dead patch of lawn is just a dead patch of lawn. But in Florida, your lawn could also be the victim of a fungal attack or pathogen.
A lawn fungus can be a difficult thing to deal with. It tends to stick around, even if you don’t actively see it working or attacking your lawn. This means that it can come back again and again. And it’s hard to diagnose, because the symptoms typically look similar to any other patch of dried out grass.
However, you can catch fungal symptoms. Mostly, you have to catch them at the right time of day, by looking at them in the early morning when the dew is out. You’ll see white, cottony patches or spots on your grass.
At this point your best bet is to gather up a sample and send it on to the local county extension. They’ll be able to correctly identify the disease so it can be treated properly. If you try to treat it and guess incorrectly you’ll simply wind up wasting an awful lot of time and money!
But dealing with a fungus is not just a matter of spraying your lawn down with the proper chemical and hoping for the best. It’s often a matter of adjusting your landscaping to account for the environment you have.
For example, sometimes it is a good idea to change the type of grass that you use. Other times, the issue may be how much or how little you mow. And at other times, irrigation might be the problem.
The University of Florida Extension offers a rather extensive discussion on what they call “cultural practices” at this website. They share a wealth of ideas for preventing fungal outbreaks on your lawn.
Your gutters and downspouts, of course, may also play a role in fungal management. If your downspouts are draining in problematic places, for example, then they may be harming your lawn. Often, you can manage this process with downspout extensions, or even with french drains.
Of course, if your gutters are dirty or in poor repair they’re going to spill water all over your lawn and foundation anyway, damaging it in uncontrollable ways. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to keep your gutters in the best possible shape!
If you live in St. Petersburg, Largo, Clearwater or anywhere else in the Tampa Bay Metro Area, call us. We’ll be happy to give you a free estimate on cleaning, repairing, or replacing your gutters so that your lawn doesn’t have to suffer from a persistent fungal infection.