Mold, mushrooms, and mildews can kill grass and make your lawn look ugly and patchy. Fortunately, most fungal problems can be avoided with a little foresight and regular maintenance. The following tips will help you keep the fungus out of your lawn.
Tip #1: Never bury wood
Mushrooms seemingly pop up from nowhere in the lawn. Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus, typically one that lives beneath the soil and only sends up mushrooms to reproduce. The host to the underground fungus is often decaying wood. Dead tree roots are the most common culprit, which is why removal of old stumps is recommended. Buried landscape timbers or the broken off ends of old stakes could also be the cause. In newer homes, the use of branches or construction offcuts as filler under the soil is another source of rotting wood. If you suspect there is buried wood, you can dig it up and then re-sod the lawn. Otherwise, you may need to deal with fungal issues for a few years until the wood degrades naturally
Tip #2: Improve drainage
Most fungal bodies require plenty of moisture to survive -- more moisture than the lawn grass needs to be healthy. This means you need to avoid overwatering while also ensuring that water drains properly. Each spring, have the lawn aerated. A core aeration removes plugs of soil, which loosens the ground so moisture can soak in and drain properly. Also, manage the thatch layer. Thatch is the thin layer of dead organic matter that sits on top the soil. If it becomes more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, then it becomes a moisture trap. Instead of moisture draining deep into the soil and to grassroots, it will sit near the surface and provide a home to fungus.
Tip #3: Practice regular cleaning
Moisture doesn't just need to be trapped near the soil to lead to a fungal problem. Mildew and smuts, in particular, tend to grow directly on the grass leads. They block sunlight and inhibit photosynthesis, which can kill the grass out. Fallen leaves and pine needles are the most common cause, since these sit on the lawn and trap moisture. This creates a prime fungal microclimate. Leaving outdoor items out, such as a child's swimming pool or a tarp spread out to dry, can also trap moisture and lead to fungal issues. Clean the lawn of debris weekly to avoid issues.
For more help, contact a lawn care services.