Did you know there are hundreds of thousands of different kinds of lawn fungi naturally living in your turf? While most of these are recognized as beneficial organism-digesting organic entities, nearly 10,000 are classified as disease causing. If your lawn has become overrun with toadstools, don't wait to act. Contact a Nutri-Lawn Ottawa lawn service technician to review the situation immediately.
What Causes Fungal Growth?
As with most fungi, mushrooms are sensitive to moisture. As such, they normally appear during periods of heavy rainfall or on very heavily irrigated soil. This is why it's important that you keep your Ottawa lawn sprinkler system in tip-top condition. Improper irrigation could increase the amount of decaying organic matter in your lawn, creating ample food for fungi to feast on. Other materials known to attract fungi include shallow, dead tree roots, construction materials and heavy layers of lawn thatch.
Common Grass Fungi
When it comes to fungi, there are two common types you should make note of: Rhizoctonia and Sclerotium. These two forms of fungi are responsible for causing a wide range of lawn diseases, resulting in everything from root lesions to brown patches.
Fairy rings are also a common fungal issue, especially in Ottawa. This fungus is characterized by a mushroom-like fungal growth in turf. Believe it or not, most of this fungi's growth actually takes place underground in the form of mycelia. Over time, these mycelia devour the nutrients in the soil, which eventually causes the grass to die. Because the soil is filled with deadly mycelia, it is difficult to treat and control the visible fungi.
How to Treat Mycelia
Luckily, Nutri-Lawn's Ottawa lawn service can offer a few environmentally friendly solutions to this common lawn care problem. First, try aerating your soil. Keeping the soil open will allow increased water penetration. Next, consider applying a nutrient-rich top dressing. This will help reintroduce important nutrients to your soil. Just make sure that you don't leave any mounds on your turf. Too much top-dressing in one area could attract an unwanted fungal infection.
In severe cases, you may be forced to dig out the top four to six inches of your turf and replace it with new topsoil and grass seed. Not surprisingly, this can be an expensive and time-consuming procedure.
A Note About Pythium Blight
Ottawa's northern climate is extremely susceptible to pythium blight. This is because most Ottawa lawns include a large quantity of perennial rye grass. Rye grass, when left wet overnight, can develop a cotton candy-like top coating. Because this fungus loves humid conditions, it is difficult to control during a hot Ottawa summer. To avoid this common lawn care problem, simply remember to irrigate your lawn in the early morning, rather than late at night.
Powdery Mildew: A Common Problem
Another common fungal problem to make note of is powdery mildew. This type of fungal growth targets ornamental plants and flowers, especially roses. Efficient gardening is necessary to curtail this white, filmy fungus, so be vigilant. If you notice powdery mildew throughout your garden, ask a Nutri-Lawn Ottawa lawn service technician for professional assistance.
Proper fungus prevention and control is key when it comes to caring for your Ottawa lawn. If you're losing the fight against persistent fungus, don't give up! Contact Nutri-Lawn's Ottawa lawn service today for more information on environmentally friendly fungal treatments.