October 31st

In Eastern Idaho, we see several lawn diseases that are common to the area.  Lawn disease can cause short term or long term damage to a lawn that takes work and care to come back from.  A lot of factors come into play that can make lawn diseases more prevalent: such as the amount of water or fertilizer it receives, mowing properly and often enough, aerating, draining soil, and getting adequate proteins from sunlight.

If your lawn is lacking in any or one of these areas it is considered a stressed lawn. Diseases can affect stressed lawn much more easily than healthy lawns. Once a lawn disease starts to grow on your lawn, it can cause heavy damage if not treated properly.

Once turf diseases have become active, they can cause heavy damage if not treated properly. Here is a list of common diseases to Idaho lawns:

Powdery Mildew

This fungal disease affects grass and a wide variety of plants that grow in garden areas. It appears as a white, milky powder that begins to grow on grass blades and leaves. The fungus eats away at the plant’s nutrients causing it to become weak and unable to bloom or grow. It will stop most flowering plants from blooming or deteriorate the blooms present.

Lawn Rust

Rust disease is the appearance of yellow or orange grass due to a  powdery substance that covers blades of grass in spots or pieces. This substance does not pose any harm to humans or animals, and will brush off easily. It does however weaken grass and open it up to more serious disease or growth problems. This fungal disease spreads quickly through spores.

Fairy Ring

Also referred to as fairy circle, elf circle or pixie ring, this fungus is actually a naturally occurring ring or circle of mushrooms. This circle starts from a single piece of mycelium or spore feeding in the thatch layer of soil. As it grows outward the fungus spreads in a ring pattern that can reach up to 10 meters in diameter. As the fungus continues to grow and steal food from your lawn it will cause a ring of dead grass to develop surrounding the mushrooms.

Things to Remember Concerning Lawn Disease

  • The lawn rust and powdery mildew will look as if they have been dusted with flour. White for powdery mildew and orange in color for rust.
  • Look on the underside of plant leaves for hte dust as well, sometimes this is the first place is geows.

What Does a Lawn Disease Look Like?

We recommend that a homeowner walk through their property, inspecting the lawn atleast once a week. As you are observing the grass and garden look for a few of the warning signs associated with lawn disease:

  • Plants infected with powdery mildew look as if they have been dusted with flour.
  • Powdery mildew usually starts off as circular, powdery white spots, which can appear on leaves, stems, and sometimes fruit.
  • Powdery mildew usually covers the upper part of the leaves, but may grow on the undersides as well.
  • Young foliage is most susceptible to damage. Leaves turn yellow and dry out.
  • The fungus might cause some leaves to twist, break, or become disfigured.
  • The white spots of powdery mildew will spread to cover most of the leaves or affected areas.
  • The leaves, buds, and growing tips will become disfigured as well. These symptoms usually appear late in the growing season.

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