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I am wondering if I have some sort of fungus in my lawn.

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"I am wondering if I have some sort of fungus in my lawn. I have a lot of spots that appear to be brown or dry. My wife has been putting more watering these spots for the last couple of weeks and they are not greening up. Do you have and suggestions?"

What you are describing sounds like heat and drought stress. However, if you have increased the watering to those areas without improvement, it is probably something else. One possibility is a disease, usually caused by some type of fungus. Often, treating with fungicides is very expensive and you can be just as effective by managing the grass to keep it healthy. Consult the Utah State University Extension Publication HG-517, Basic Turfgrass Care. You can access it online at:
http://web2.ad.ext.usu.edu/htm/publications/publication=5793

Another possibility is insect damage. This time of year you could be seeing sod webworm damage, grub damage, or billbug damage. If you have noticed some small, white moths flying around as you walk across the lawn, it indicates sod web worm damage. If the grass can be pulled up and rolled back like a carpet, it indicates grub damage. If you tug on the grass and the blades pull out very easily, it indicates billbug damage. I would recommend consulting the Utah State University Extension Agent in your county for suggestions on treating your lawn for these insects. As with disease, you can also be very effective in controlling the damage by managing the grass to keep it healthy.

Posted on 12 Sep 2006

Nancy Mesner
Program Leader, Water quality Specialist

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