One of the most common lawn diseases in the UK, Fusarium Patch is a disease that is most common during mild and wet climates. Though frosts are a pain in their own right, they do have the benefit of killing parasites. So this disease is more likely to strike if during mild Winters.
Fusarium Patch also goes by the names Fuzz, Snow Mould or Microdochium Patch.
Fusarium Patch is characterised by light brown or orange spots of around 50mm in diameter, which will worsen depending on how bad the conditions are for the grass. Fusarium Patch is more likely to strike if the soil is too fertile, so minimise the use of nitrogen based fertilisers before the colder months of the year or else you risk leaving the door open to the offending fungus
- High levels of nitrogen fertiliser
- Mild and wet conditions that are worsened by poor drainage
- Lack of available sunlight
- High surface acidity
- Deep layer of thatch on top of the turf
As with many ailments it’s far better to try and prevent Fusarium Patch from rearing its ugly head in the first place than wait for it to appear and have to get rid of it. Once it has appeared you’ll struggle to get it under control unless you have specialist fungicides, and even then there are no guarantees. To prevent it from appearing on your lawn consider the following actions:
- Scarify and aerate the lawn to reduce the level of thatch, aerating can also improve drainage if this is an issue
- Try to keep the lawn dry, although this is obviously difficult you can at least remove early morning dew with the aid of a brush
- Maintain the correct level of nutrition – don’t swamp the lawn in nitrogen fertilisers in the early Autumn, you’ll be feeding the fungus more than the grass
- Use a liberal application of sulphate of iron on the lawn’s surface to reduce acidity
- Take steps to improve sunlight, prune surrounding trees or plants that may be blocking those essential rays
- Overseed your lawn with a variety of different grass seed species. This is a ‘strength in numbers’ approach, with the theory being that even if one species is attacked then at least there will be a chance that the others survive