Untreated lawn disease and improper care can become serious problems for those who let them go untreated. The biggest problems, fungus and pests, can quickly turn a well manicured lawn into an area of discolored or dead grass. Though the symptoms of lawn disease are often very similar, different types of fungus and pests often are responsible. Improper lawn care issues are often easier to remedy once the homeowner understands what is wrong.
With many lawns, the main problem is different types of fungus. In most cases, lawns that develop a fungus will show signs of thinning out or the grass will be discolored, often in distinctive shapes. Fusarium blight shows up as crescent shapes. Necrotic ring spot may show itself through circles or rings. Other fungi may show up as a discoloration of nearly any color.
For many bugs, a homeowner's well-manicured lawn represents a virtual buffet of vegetation. Chinchbugs, nematodes, grubs, mole crickets and many other types of creatures can be a problem in warmer seasons. Visual inspection is the best way to diagnose these problems. If the turf can be picked up from the ground easily, grubs could be the culprit. Chewed grass could indicate any number of different species.
One of the main problems with grass is that it is often abused. This can be from a variety of sources, such as urine from animals, especially dogs, foot traffic or even improper mowing. In some cases, the issue may be corrected by simply finding a way to prevent the action causing the damage. Mowing at a higher level or sharpening the blade, for example, can be a help.
If the lawn is not watered properly and either gets too little or too much, the symptoms may look remarkably similar even though the causes are opposite. If the grass is receiving too much or too little water, it may turn yellow or even brown. In most cases, homeowners should be able to intuitively tell if the grass is stressed because of too much or too little water.
If the problem is fungus, there are a number of things that can be done to help the situation. Regular mowing, adequate sunlight and proper watering are all keys. A fungicide may be applied in more serious cases. Further, some insecticides may be used if there is a problem with bugs feasting on the lawn. Homeowners should take a proactive approach or the problem could become much worse.