Fusarium patch disease is the most common disease of turf in the UK. Irregularly shaped orange/brown areas of turf a few centimetres in diameter develop, sometimes with a white or pink fluffy fungal growth around the edge of the patch. Over a period of weeks these die back and can create areas of bare/exposed soil. These gradually recover naturally if weather and soil conditions are warm enough. However, if the disease occurs in the autumn, the conditions may not be suitable for recovery until the following spring. The disease can occur throughout the year, but is most damaging in autumn/winter because the turf is not growing fast enough to recover quickly.
The symptoms can become worse if snow falls on infected turf. The layer of snow insulates the disease fungus from the cold and allows it to grow beneath the snow, when it becomes known as snow mould, and more extensive damage can occur. In most cases, the diseased area will completely recover once the grass is actively growing again.
Why has it affected my lawn?
As with all plant diseases, the spores of this disease are abundant everywhere, but only produce visible symptoms if environmental conditions are right for their growth.
When is Fusarium likely to appear?
Whenever the weather is very still and humid and the grass stays wet for most of the day, Fusarium patches are likely to develop. Fusarium is rarely a problem in the summer but is very common at other times of year under these weather conditions. The fungus grows in the water film on the grass leaf and that is why heavy dews and still air favour its spread.
Can I control Fusarium chemically?
There are currently no fungicides recommended for use by amateur gardeners in the UK to control this disease. Here at Pro Lawn we are able to buy in the required chemicals, under licence and professionally apply these to your lawn to help control the effects of Fusarium.
Other methods can be taken to assist in the control of fungal diseases in your lawn. Thatch build-up and heavy compaction are common contributors to fungal disease. Using recommended methods of dethatching and aeration will assist in the fight against fungal diseases in your lawn.