Dollar spot fungus is a common fungal disease affecting residential lawns in Texas. Caused by the Sclerotinia homeocarpa fungus, it creates several small, round spots of dead grass.
These spots are relatively small, measuring just 2 to 6 inches in diameter. But like other fungal diseases, it can spread when left unchecked.
Therefore, it’s important for Texas homeowners to familiarize themselves with dollar spot fungus so that they can protect their lawn from this troubling disease.
Grasses Affected By Dollar Spot Fungus
Not all lawn grasses are vulnerable to dollar spot fungus. According to a report by Texas A&M University, it typically affects Bermuda, Hybrid Bermuda, Centipede, fescue and Zoysia grass.
Unfortunately, these are among the most common types of lawn grasses, found in thousands of residential landscapes throughout Texas and elsewhere in the United States. But that shouldn’t discourage you from growing any of these grass varieties on your lawn.
With a little work, you can safeguard your lawn from dollar spot fungus and other common fungal diseases.
Spring and Fall
Dollar spot fungus can strike your lawn at any time. However, it’s most common during the spring and fall months when the weather is warm and air is humid. This climate offers the perfect environment in which dollar spot fungus can thrive.
And once it begins to spread, you may discover the characteristic circular patches of brown grass on your lawn – telltale sign of dollar spot fungus.
Protecting Your Lawn From Dollar Spot Fungus
To protect your lawn from dollar spot fungus, focus on keeping it clean and dry. Fungus generally thrives in dark, moist environments, and dollar spot fungus is no exception.
To protect your lawn and surrounding plants from this disease, try to aerate your soil at least once every three to four months. Aeration will score the soil with many small holes, allowing moisture to evaporate more quickly and therefore discourage dollar spot fungus.
Another tip to protect your lawn from dollar spot fungus is to rake any fallen leaves, especially during the fall and winter months.
Some homeowners assume that their lawn doesn’t need any maintenance during the latter half of the year once the grass has stopped growing. You may not need to mow your lawn, but you should rake it.
Allowing leaves to accumulate will increase the risk of dollar spot fungus. With a layer of leaves, moisture will become trapped over your grass, thereby encouraging dollar spot fungus.
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