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How to Fight Lawn Fungus this Spring

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

With the coming of spring, your lawn can be especially vulnerable to lawn fungus. Whether you see the signs of lawn fungus in tell tale mushrooms popping up around your yard or in discolored patches or even mildew, slime, or mold, you don't have to surrender. Let the following tips help you conquer lawn fungus or better yet, prevent lawn fungus from showing up in the first place.
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Remove Snow to Stop Snow-Related Lawn Fungus

Common spring lawn diseases like snow mold generally appear when the ground has thawed but the lawn is still covered with snow. You can side-step trouble by spreading snow evenly or moving any snow piles from winter shoveling off the lawn.

Knock Out Lawn Mushrooms by Improving Drainage

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungus and they're evidence of two things--decaying organic material beneath the surface or excessive moisture in your lawn. You may not be able to do anything about heavy spring rain, but you can do something about debris in your soil or drainage problems in your yard. Dig out any dead tree roots or other buried material and aerate to loosen up the soil. If your yard has any low spots, fill them in. While you're waiting for your hard efforts to take effect, collect and dispose of the mushrooms daily to stop them from spreading their spores.

Approach Spring Fertilizer with Caution

Over-fertilizing makes your lawn ripe for many types of lawn fungus. The same nutrients your lawn loves also nourish fungi. So don't go overboard in the spring, particularly in the early spring when it can be tempting to green up your winter lawn. For guidelines on how much fertilizer your lawn needs, check out this site's fertilizer calculator.  

Just because it's wet this spring doesn't mean you have to give your lawn over to fungus and pesky mushrooms. Taking a few steps to improve conditions in your yard will make a world of difference.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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