Maryland Lawn Problems
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Red Thread is a fungus that can attack healthy lawns during the spring and fall when they are most susceptible to the disease due to temperatures ranging from 68 to 75 and when the humidity is high. Red thread forms patterns of discoloration in the lawn that can span from several inches to several feet in diameter. Affected ares show signs of pink or red threads at the tips of the grass blades as this illness progresses to the final stage. In order to prevent your lawn from contracting Red Thread, you need to maintain proper soil moisture, watering early in the morning. Avoid watering your lawn during times that will extend dew periods, in the late afternoon and early morning.
Brown patch is a major summer disease of lawns. The most susceptible grass species include perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and the bentgrass. On high-cut turf, patches may be from a few inches up to several feet in diameter and circular. In the early morning on dew-covered turf, white mycelium of the casual fungus can often be seen on and between grass leaves and stems of the patch. Sometimes all the grass within the patch is killed, creating a sunken or “pocket” effect. More often, the turn in these patches is thinned rather than completely killed.
On tall fescue, symptoms of brown patch can be observed in individual leaves and not necessarily in patches. Symptoms or leaves appear as irregular tan or light brown lesions surrounded by dark brown borders.
Summer Grassy Weeds
Grassy weeds can invade your lawn during the summer months. Three of the most common in this area are Nutsedge, Crabgrass, and Japanese Stilt Grass. All three of these pesky plants love hot summers and the many thunderstorms we get in this area.
Nutsedge is a light colored grass that grows faster than turf grass. It’s especially a problem in thin areas, wet soil conditions, and lawns that are cut too short.
Crabgrass germinates in late spring and will thrive in thin and bare areas, lawns that are cut too short, and lawns under stress from heat, humidity, and the excessive summer thunderstorms we can have. The most common area is along walks and driveways and along shrub bed borders. These areas are commonly scalped down to the soil with string trimmers during mowing operations.
Japanese Stilt Grass
Japanese Stilt Grass is an invasive species that is similar to crabgrass. It is most often found on properties near wooded areas where it flourishes. It is very hard to control, and can take years of special attention to fall to aeration and seeding, fertilization, and heavy applications of pre-emergent crabgrass control in the spring.