Once an outbreak of lawn disease has occurred in our Saint Augustine grass lawns, the very best methods to begin treating it are also the best methods for the prevention of lawn disease. So if we haven't already been following these cultural management practices to reduce the possibility of lawn fungus outbreaks, then it's time to start right now with a simple year round lawn care program.
To put lawn disease and how to treat it into perspective lets take a quick moment to look at the optimum growing environment for any type of lawn fungus or lawn disease
Fungus diseases love excess moisture, darkness, warmth and humidity, it's here that they will thrive, flourish and multiply while under these perfect conditions.
Therefore, the enemy of lawn disease will be light and dryness. So to make our lawns more resistant to and more able to fight disease infections, we need to remove the environmental conditions which promotes fungal growth.
And these are the best ways to achieve this:
Reduce Shade On Susceptible Lawns
Prune back surrounding trees and bushes to increase direct sunlight levels to any lawn areas affected. This will aid in reduction of lawn disease infections by increasing direct sunlight, increasing lawn health to fight infections and evaporating excess water which may be present in the thatch layer.
Watering Lawns in the Shade
Controlling thatch in Saint Augustine lawns is important for many reasons, and this includes for the purpose of controlling lawn diseases. This is because the thatch layer in Saint Augustine grass can become quite thick if left uncontrolled, and this increased thatch layer is a perfect breeding ground for lawn disease.
Regular lawn mowing will keep the lawn in good health, as well as aiding in controlling the thatch layer, and both these attributes will greatly help the lawn both resist and control the establishment of lawn diseases. Correct lawn mowing heights for the lawn dependent on shade or full sun levels will also keep the lawn in optimum health while preventing thatch buildup.
Lawn aeration will greatly aid the soil in supplying free flowing oxygen and water to the roots of the lawn, which creates better lawn health. Lawn aeration will also help to prevent excess moisture build-up in the topsoil, and this deprives any lawn disease from its most preferred growing conditions.
Lawn coring is the very best form of aerating all lawn types, and when undertaken on a Saint Augustine lawn - lawn coring will also have the added benefit of controlling at least a little thatch build-up.
Fungicides to Control Disease in St Augustine Lawns
If an outbreak of turf disease does still remain in a Saint Augustine lawn after all of these cultural management practices are followed, then a lawn fungicide will also help in controlling any lawn disease outbreaks.
Lawn fungicides should only ever be used in conjunction with proper lawn care management. They are not a cure on their own because we are not removing the actual cause of the lawn disease just by spraying the disease itself, and so therefore without proper cultural management practices, the Saint Augustine lawn will remain continually susceptible to ongoing outbreaks of lawn disease.