Wet Spring season has made Arkansas lawns the perfect breeding ground for fungi

Damp Spring season fosters lawn fungus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - We all know the popular phrase "April showers bring May flowers," but this spring has been heavy on the shower part of that equation.

All that rain is generating more than just flowers, and some of that fauna isn't good for our lawns.

“It seems like it's not growing like it normally does this time of year,” said Milton Floyd as he and his grandson tended to his yard in west Little Rock. He’s doing his part in the all-American effort to grow that emerald patch of perfect lawn.

The work requires weeding, mowing and tending, but this year there's a microscopic scourge preventing us from that perfection.

“Dollar spot is a fungus that’s popping up here a lot recently,” said Terry Roark, a chemical specialist for Grounds Guys Lawn Service.

His company draws high-dollar amounts to handle dollar spot, and other lawn fungi. Diseases with names like pink mold, fairy ring and stripe smut sound like mystical potions but can actually cause curses for your lawn.

It’s all growing because of the wet spring. It can be frustrating when rain is supposed to make everything green, but the fungus ends up making your lawn brown.

“The over-hydration leads to the fungus,” Roark said. “All that water puts a lot of stress on the lawn itself and the root system. It looks like it’s dead, but it’s the fungus.”

So resist the urge to water it more if you see spots crop up despite recent rain. Once spots start to spread, you can call a lawn service to treat it with chemicals.

“Eventually if we were to not treat it,” Roark said. “It would start spreading out and becoming bigger patches of brown and dead spots.”

There are over-the-counter ways to fight the fungus too.

They’re available at the hardware store and should be used as directed. If you're more of a naturalist and want to avoid chemicals completely - basically watch what you water and hope the mold doesn't take hold.

“If you see anything spread, more than likely you’re going to have to put some sort of chemical on it to slow the process down and knock it out,” Roark said.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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