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When Lawn and Mulch Fungus Attacks, Fight Back!

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

Not only is lawn fungus disgusting, it can choke the life out of a beautiful yard. And mulch fungus can be downright dangerous if eaten by animals or people. The key to beating lawn and mulch fungus is to take the fight to the fungus. Here's a battle plan that's eco-friendly and easy to follow.

Drought. Extreme low mowing height. Tightly compacted soil. Excessive watering. Even dog urine. It doesn't take too much to encourage a lawn fungus attack. Fungus can be identified by brown patches on your lawn. These areas of dead grass may progress to a slimy, multi-colored coating on grass blades. And take careful note: mulch fungus is deadly if eaten by your pets or your children. So it's best to understand how to naturally rid your lawn or mulch pile of fungus.
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Control Lawn Fungus

  • Clean Your Lawn. Removing cut grass clumps, sticks, and other decaying debris will go a long way in preventing the development of lawn fungus. Replace mulch in the fall and rake up leftover winter debris.
  • Use Anti-transpirant Spray. Anti-transpirant solution provides a clear shield coating on lawns and needles that lessen the damaging effects of the winter months. And it keeps fungus from attaching to the surface.
  • Plant Carefully. For plants and flowers, decrease the opportunity for developing lawn fungus by the types most suitable to your climate. Weather may vary, but the flora and fauna you choose should be able to survive.

Because mulch fungus is confined to a much smaller area, controlling it can be a bit easier. But you still need to take an aggressive approach to ensure that mulch fungus doesn't turn into a constant problem. The method of control is pretty easy to remember.

Control Mulch Fungus

  • Discard Quickly. Any areas of slime mold growing on your mulch pile should be removed and discarded in a plastic bag.
  • Maintain Frequently. Adding new layers to your mulch pile frequently will decrease the chances that mulch fungus will take hold.

The bottom line is that lawn and mulch fungus are much more prone to attack the reactive landscaper. Being proactive is the best way to remain fungus free throughout the year. 

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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