Most lawn enthusiasts understand that the best defense against invasions is to establish and maintain thick healthy grass with a deep, strong root system that can prevent pests from competing for valuable resources. Unfortunately, even that is not always enough. Homeowners and lawn enthusiasts must contend with weeds, pests, and diseases in their quest for beautifully healthy turf. Consistent lawn care management, which includes regular cutting, feeding, and preventatives, is the best way to strengthen the grass.
Most lawns naturally contain fungal spores, even in healthy grass. These naturally occurring fungal spores do not cause harm or wreak havoc in lawns unless certain conditions cause them to germinate. Many lawn care enthusiasts choose to apply a fungicide for lawn as part of a preventative maintenance routine when conditions support germination. To use fungicides for lawns effectively, it’s important to know a little bit about them and how they work. Here’s what you need to know.
Know Your Fungicides
Fungicides can only be used against fungal infections. They can not be used to fight bacterial or viral diseases in the grass. Lawn fungicides are technically classified as pesticides. Most fungicides are broad-spectrum products that target multiple species. They are typically used to kill, prevent, or inhibit fungal growth. Fungicides for lawns can be further classified into four separate groups based on how they work.
- Protectants – These are contact fungicides that form a barrier around leaves to protect plants from invading fungus. Protectants are used almost exclusively as preventative fungicides.
- Penetrants – These fungicides are absorbed by the grass or plant to protect it against disease and kill fungus.
- Preventatives – Preventative fungicides prevent fungi from reaching plant surfaces and must often be reapplied. They are designed to protect grass and plants from becoming infected.
- Curatives – Curative fungicides treat infections once symptoms are apparent. They cannot repair damaged grass or plants, but they halt or significantly reduce the spread of the disease.
Brown or yellow patches of dead grass are common indications of a fungal invasion that should be treated with a lawn fungicide. Broad-spectrum fungicides eradicate and prevent a variety of lawn fungi, but they do not repair the dead grass in these areas. It is often necessary to reseed lawns in areas where fungi have been eliminated.
Fungicides for lawns do not ‘cure’ diseased grass, but if they are properly applied early on, they can stop the spread of the disease and potentially allow grass the opportunity to recover. Like herbicides, fungicides are available in both liquid and granular forms. Each offers specific benefits when applied properly at the appropriate time.
Fungicides for Lawns
Fungi are common parasites that feed on other living plants causing destructive grass and plant diseases. Infections often begin when conditions are optimal for fungi spores to germinate. While weeds often act as vectors for infection-causing fungi spores, diseases are more prevalent during wet, humid seasons. The type of fungicide you choose to use depends on your goals and the potential presence of fungal infections. Preventing fungal infestations boils down to comprehensive, consistent lawn care that includes regular cutting, feeding, and preventatives. Pick up your fungicide for lawns today and incorporate it into your regular lawn care routine.