5 Important Lawn Turf Diseases to Watch Out For

Just like humans, turf grasses follow suit on the management of their health. Therefore, turf treatment practices such as irrigation, mowing, fertilization, and other cultural practices are essential regarding its well-being.

However, during winter, even the healthiest turfs are prone to damage by diseases. Consequently, it calls for lawn treatment services to mitigate and facilitate lawn disease control.

Below is a list that articulates the most common and rampant winter lawn turf diseases that could affect your New Jersey lawn.

Brown patch

It is rated as one of the most eminent diseases on cool-season grasses. It appears in circular patches with dark to purplish-green leaves that can spread up to several feet. The pathogen becomes active in spring or early summer and is unduly destructive when high temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Good cultural and lawn care services such as the application of fungicides are essential in withholding further effects.

It mostly affects grasses like tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and other New Jersey weeds such as perennial ryegrass.


The disease is active both in early and late winter and displays moldy appearances. Its primary cause is when the snow melts on unfrozen ground. The spread is mainly by foot and movement of equipment.

There are no elite chemical turf treatments for preventing the disease. Nonetheless, lawn treatment services such as spring fertilizer application can alleviate the situation.

Also, in the case of large affected lawn fields, you can deploy lawn care services to loosen and rake any matted grass. It is a lawn disease control measure that curbs further disease spread.

Primary lawn disease recipients are the bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass.

Grey Leaf Spot

This particular turf disease first takes the form of spots on leaves that are usually tan with a darker border. Eventually these spots turn gray when there’s a rain or the air is highly humid, and they begin producing spores. This in turn causes the leaves to become brittle and eventually die.

If not brought under control, this disease can quickly spread throughout your turf, leaving dead grass in its wake.

Pythium blight

This disease has adverse effects as it is prominent both in hot and cool weather, quite stressful. Also, the condition demands unprecedented attention as it is fast spreading from the leaves and crowns. Severe cases have also revealed the death of the grasses.

Effective lawn disease control can be achieved by impeccable soil drainage, deep and infrequent irrigation. Excessive irrigation is not recommended as it will hasten the activity of the disease. During favorable weather conditions, a preventive fungicide can be incorporated as a turf treatment mechanism.

It poses a threat to New Jersey all grass varieties, both warm and cool-season turfgrasses.

Fairy ring

Over 60 different fungi varieties have been responsible for the occurrence of the disease. Additionally, these species vary in their mode of infection and response to various fungicides.

Thus, it is classified as one of the most challenging turf diseases to deal with and mitigate.

Rather than infecting the turf, fairy rings reside on the thatch and source food from organic matter. In turn, this alternates the physical and chemical properties of the soil that reciprocates effects on the turf.

A useful application of fungicide can help mitigate the disease, if done timely and the correct one is used. The best solution is to heavily aerate the infected area. While it is a sign the whole yard needs aeration, fairy ring tends to be isolated to one spot. Most often, remnants of a large tree stump was in the vicinity at one point. To catch fairy ring before the turf dies is very difficult, core aeration it to prevent issues in future years. Like most diseases, especially fairy ring, they will come back if not addressed with the proper cultural practices.

Dollar Spot

The dollar spot appears on grass in the form of a dollar coin spot. It’s usually white or tan in color. This disease infects grasses in the springtime, although symptoms may not appear until the summer. This fungus is very common in New Jersey soil. Optimizing the watering schedule and mowing at the correct height, like many other turf diseases, tends to be the cause. If left untreated, dollar spots can cause your turfgrass to whittle away.

For professional lawn care near your New Jersey home, turn to us at Dirt & Turf today!

Leave a Comment