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November 15, 2018 | Grass Seed

Rust fungus on grass: let’s have a closer look

Rust fungus on grass: let’s have a closer look

Quite serious lawn damage often busts out with seemingly minor symptoms that you might barely spot even if your grass blades are severely threatened. Perhaps, you’ve already seen lawn rust in pictures on the web, now it’s time to handle it in reality.

Lawn rust starts with a minor change in color. It’s up to you, as a homeowner, to catch lawn rust as early as possible, if you really want to prevent this orange dust from spreading further. So, you’re expected to timely recognize its symptoms and learn to cope with it. The better you’re at identifying and withstanding this grass disease, the easier it will be to keep your lawn healthy for a long time. It’s clear that no one would like to observe this orange powder on grass or orange grass mold in mulch. To effectively withstand it, keep reading this review.

What causes rust fungus?

When talking about rust we mean exactly a yellowish-orange or orange powder on grass leaf blades. You have a great chance to spot it in early autumn or late summer when the weather is dry enough. Rust normally shows up on lawns as well as other turf areas.

Rust can have your lawn colored as you don’t expect, including red, brown, yellow, and brown. The darker your turf is, the further this stuff has spread and the more of your plants have been affected.  Close examination will disclose the pustules that can be easily rubbed off.

Lawn rust belongs to a family of fungi, attacking grass. Apparently, there are a lot of different types of lawn rust fungi, and each of them is used to feeding on a different type of turf.

Rust dominates moist areas where the days are humid and warm and the nights are dewy and cool. Low fertility and also low water availability slow down turf surge, enabling rust to freely develop. Seasons with too many rains might have rust outbreaks because of the depletion of available nitrogen. Additionally, cool nights with frequent rainfall and heavy dew contribute to the ideal conditions for this stuff to develop. Cloudy, warm, and humid weather followed by sunny and hot weather favors it too.

It spreads via water, air, equipment, shoes as well as vegetative turf material. It’s capable of weakening turf grasses, making them more susceptible to other issues.

While a wide array of grass species can be impacted by this disease, certain types are especially vulnerable. These are tall fescue, perennial ryegrass and also Kentucky bluegrass.

Rust is often seen in overwatered yards, where the soil lacks nutrients, or where thatch has accumulated around huge numbers of plants.

Lawn rust doesn’t necessarily need to be a death sentence for your beloved lawn. If you managed to quickly remove it and keep your land properly watered and nourished, the grass blades will get back to full health within a couple of months. However, if you fail to withstand it, it will easily spread all over your lawn and provoke serious damage. Apart from eating your lawn up, it will also make it more vulnerable to other diseases.

Is grass rust harmful to humans?

Fortunately, it can’t do you harm

Is lawn rust harmful to pets?

It can’t harm your pets too. However, if your pet plays in the yard, there’s a certain likelihood that it will pick up rust spores on the fur and then have it spread to uninfected areas of your lawn. What’s more, if your pet is prone to roaming the neighborhood, the infection can be spread to other lawns.

Lawn rust disease treatment

Of course, you naturally want to know how to get rid of rust in your lawn. You want to gain complete control of it, leaving no chance even to a minor residue of it on your land.  Just follow these tips below to totally terminate this stuff.

  • Make use of fungicides: While a couple of tweaks to your lawn care techniques are usually enough to resolve this issue, but fungicides would be more useful for severe infections. However, if you have firmly decided to use this remedy, consult an expert to learn what fungicide products are appropriate for your lawn.
  • Get rid of thatch: If the soil in your lawn is extremely saturated with thatch, then it becomes much easier for spores to spread through your grass. You’re expected to remove your thatch and have it disposed of in a way, which doesn’t expose other plants to the fungus. Therefore, the rust won’t be able to damage any part of your lawn it hasn’t spread yet, of course. You’d better remove grass blade clippings having moved your lawn because they can help rust spores to spread further. Burning your thatch would be a nice option, but do it carefully.
  • Make the most of fertilization: Lawn rust often appears to be a sign that your grass lacks potassium, nitrogen as well as other crucial nutrients. With proper fertilizer techniques, you can return these vital nutrients to your lawn, strengthening your grass and helping it recover from this disease.
  • Use controlled watering: Evidently, lawn rust spores require enough moisture to keep growing. So, you overwater your lawn, the chance of infection will be greater. Try not to exceed the reasonable watering level for your lawn.

Rust on bermuda grass

Bermuda grass is highly praised for its exceptional drought and heat tolerance as well as a unique capacity to withstand heavy use and recover rapidly. The given combination of qualities makes Bermuda grass especially attractive to a great number of US lawn owners, as they appreciate its awesome resilience and toughness.

The overall severity of leaf spot can be drastically minimized by utilizing management practices as soon as the stand is established. You require sampling soil and maintaining adequate levels of fertility of your lawn. Soil potassium happens to be crucial for your leaf spot resistance. The vast majority of reported leaf spot cases have to do exactly with low soil potash. As a matter of fact, nutrients get removed from Bermuda grass fields in nearly a 4-1-3 ratio of N, P2O5 as well as K2O with hay harvest. To put that another way, up to 75% of potash needs to be applied every season. By the way, you shouldn’t rely on soil tests too much because they can mislead you – there have been enough cases where good soil levels were ensured, but plant samples point to a nutrient deficiency.

Lawn rust and tree rust: what’s the difference?

Well, both tree rust and lawn rust share the same family of fungi. Therefore, they have quite similar effects and symptoms. However, the specific species of fungus, generating lawn rust differ from those causing tree rust. It means that if your trees feature rust, there’s no need to worry that it can spread to your turf or vice versa. Moreover, you require watching out for one type of rust once you spot the other because the same temperatures and moist conditions favor the rapid development of both. Therefore, if you have both types of rust, have them treated separately.