Research shows that the lack of or improper method of maintenance increases the chances disease outbreak on your lawn.  Proper watering, fertilizing, aerating, and the right mowing schedule will reduce the chance of disease.  There are three factors that must be present for disease to arise and spread.  These are the right host, pathogen, and right environment.

According to the University of California Agriculture and Natural resource, “Even if a disease-causing pathogen is present, infection won’t occur unless the environment (i.e., temperature, quantity of water, etc.) is conducive to disease development and susceptible grass is available. “(Lawn Diseases: Prevention and Management).  Therefore, selecting the proper turf grass type that acclimates to the local environment will help lessen sever lawn disease.

Moreover, diseases aren’t always the primary cause of lawn damage.  Irrigation problems are the most common cause of discolored lawns.  Conducting preventive maintenance on irrigation systems will ensure a healthy lawn.  No amount of fungicide will control lawn damages that result from poor watering practices.  Experts recommend to monitor and perform preventative maintenance at least once a week.

For the most part, California has Mediterranean weather, this means, lawns require irrigation.  It is vital to implement sound watering practices—whether watering by hand or using an automated system. Applying too much or insufficient water can end in an unhealthy, slow-growing grass that is susceptible to pathogens.  Also, maintaining a lawn at the recommended mowing height will improve its ability to resist diseases and give it greater aesthetic appeal. Improper mowing, increases the chance of disease.

When a disease outburst in a home lawn is suspected, the best course of action may be to seek the professional services of a plant disease diagnostic laboratory. Accurately identifying the problem before symptoms become severe allows for corrective action to be taken before there is an unnecessary loss of large lawn areas.  Speak to your landscaping professionals to learn more about a diagnostic laboratory near you.


Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. (2016). Pests in Gardens and Landscapes. Retrieved from

Prevent Lawn Disease and Burnt Spots

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