Finding rust fungus on grass is a common problem in gardens. This is why you need to know how to get rid of rust fungus on grass.
Rust fungus is an obligate plant pathogen that infects living plants like grass. You should know how to get rid of it before it becomes a very serious problem. Rust fungus is predominant in early fall or later summer when the growth of grass is relatively slow.
How to Identify Rust Fungus
It is easy to identify rust fungus by pulling a few blades of grass out of your lawn. If the blades are covered with yellowish-brown or orange-red spores, or dust, they are infected with rust fungus. You can actually rub the spores off with your finger.
The affected area will also become weak and thin. Fine fescue, bluegrass, ryegrass, and other dark-colored grasses are particularly vulnerable to rust fungus. Rust fungus usually develops in areas where there’s excessive moisture on grass blades.
Rust fungus reduces the ability of the grass to photosynthesize. Lawns that are infected with rust fungus also look unhealthy. The lawn will eventually become weak and sustain damage easily. The rust will also cling to clothes, garden equipment, and shoes.
How to Get Rid of Fungus on Grass
Rust fungus can be treated without using fungicides or chemicals. Here are natural remedies that can help you get rid of rust fungus on your lawn.
Scalped lawns are more susceptible to fungal disease, so make sure to mow your lawn to the right height. Mowing the lawn regularly eliminates the top layer of rust fungus, and promotes rust-free grass growth.
Use a mower that comes with a grass catcher to keep your lawn clean. Don’t forget to wash the underside after using it. Rake, and remove thatch that becomes over 1/2″ deep as it provides the perfect breeding spot for spores and reduces air circulation.
You need to feed your lawn with the right amount of nutrients to keep it healthy. Rust fungus develops and spreads fast on slow-growing grass. Applying a nitrogen-rich, quick-release fertilizer to the affected areas will make the rust disappear quickly.
Mix up seeds
Seeding the lawn with various kinds of grass will help prevent rust fungus because it prefers delicate and dark-colored grass types. Rust fungus spreads easily when the lawn is composed of only darker grass types like bluegrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass.
Water the lawn each morning
Water the lawn every morning to give it enough time to dry out. Aside from preventing rust fungus growth, watering the lawn regularly also helps the grass grow faster. A thick lawn can fight off pests and diseases that prey on weakened grass.
Proper aeration is also important. Remember, fungi love damp soil with poor drainage. So, by reducing the shade your lawn gets, you can prevent rust fungus from reappearing. It will also encourage grass growth.
Most fungicides have toxic chemicals that can harm the environment, so use this method only when necessary. Rust fungus may disappear on its own if the lawn is properly fertilized.
The Bottom Line: How to Get Rid of Rust Fungus on Grass
If you’re dealing with a bad outbreak of rust fungus, then you can apply fungicides for a quick fix. Make sure to read the label and follow the instructions carefully. Hungry, improperly irrigated, and stressed lawns are vulnerable to rust fungus.
That’s why you need to fertilize and water your lawn correctly. If you know how to get rid of rust fungus on grass properly, then your lawn will stay healthy and strong throughout the year.