Every homeowner wants a beautiful lawn to complement their house. Although there are countless threats facing your beautiful property, with winter on the way, you might be confident those are behind you for the season. However, root rot can still destroy your yard and the best time to address it is between October and December.
What Is Root Rot?
Root rot refers to a number of different fungal problems that affect grass lawns. As the name suggests, it attacks at the root, but the results are very much visible above ground too. After all, the roots of any plant are an essential part of its health. So when fungus attacks the roots of grass, the signs are bound to show. Unfortunately, starting at the root means that by the time the signs become apparent to the untrained eye, it can be too late.
One of the biggest challenges with root rot is that its symptoms often look just like those of other problems. This can cause misdiagnoses that let the fungus live on and continue ruining your lawn until it’s properly addressed. While there are many forms of fungus that can be problematic to your lawn, we’re referring to the one known as Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis, commonly referred to as “take all root rot.”
This particular form of fungus generally attacks Bermuda and St. Augustine grass in the warmer months. You’ll probably notice patches of your lawn where the grass is starting to thin out, almost as if it’s balding. Even from a distance, you’ll have a much easier time seeing the dirt below it.
There can be a number of reasons for your grass thinning out though. One of the main signs to be on the lookout for is grass that has turned yellow. That’s not completely uncommon either, of course, but when root rot is behind it, the grass will remain connected to its root, even after you pull on it a bit.
Nonetheless, you’ll still be able to pull out the grass by the root, which will give you an opportunity to look for more symptoms. What you want to look for is roots that have turned brown. Larger roots may appear black, but will have had their growth stunted, so they won’t be very long. Thinner roots about the diameter of hair follicles will exist as well, though, again, they should be brown in color. When you rub these roots between your fingers, they will offer no resistance. They’ll be so brittle, you’ll see them break down in your hands.
Don’t Feed the Fungus
Unfortunately, when people don’t recognize they have root rot and don’t consult with professionals like Fischer Environmental Services, they make the mistake of thinking this particular section of their lawn just needs more water and some fertilizer. Even a lot of lawn care companies will make this lazy diagnosis.
However, this is actually the worst thing you could do. Adding water and fertilizer to root rot is just feeding the fungus, making it all the more comfortable in its new home. This attempt at a solution is only going to help the fungus spread throughout your yard and finish the job.
Call in the Professionals
Curing root rot isn’t necessarily very difficult, but it takes an educated approach that ensures your grass gets the fertilizer it needs while the fungus below it starves. Approaching this issue in the cooler months also means your grass will have an easier time hanging onto the moisture it must have as well.
Don’t let root rot take over your yard. Instead, call Fischer Environmental Services as soon as you notice the symptoms and before the warmer months come back and make things more difficult.
Filed in: Lawn Care