Did you ever see small circular brown spots on your lawn? I am sure you did if you have had a lawn for a while. Indeed, it is a very common lawn disease caused by a particular type of fungus. However, the size of the circular spot is very small, just like a coin. And that is why people call it dollar spots. The dollar spots on the lawn are a very common and stubborn fungal disease that makes almost all lawn owners tense.
Generally, these dollar spots are commonly seen on the lawn when the weather is dull and gloomy. You might find them in Fall and Winter. And once you find them, it will be pretty difficult to get rid of this problem unless you take essential steps against it instantly.
Now, you must be thinking about what’s the solution that helps get rid of dollar spots on the lawn, right? Well, I am here to share that with you. First, let me introduce you to this fungal disease properly. Otherwise, you might think of some other lawn diseases like brown patches as the dollar spots.
What Is Dollar Spot?
Dollar spot is a prevalent fungal infection we often find on our lawn. A fungus named ‘Sclerotinia homeocarpa’ is responsible for this unpleasant issue. People named it because it affects an area sized like a dollar. This disease mainly occurs on fescue grasses and mostly in Creeping Red Fescue.
Usually, the spots are colorless, bleached grass detected in a small area like an inch. It makes a tanned, reddish-brown tone to the grass. The surface of the lawn becomes uneven because of the presence of dollar spots on the lawn. If you notice the grass leaves are reddish-brown, you must be concerned about your lawn.
On a foggy morning, you might see a web-like mold surrounded by the infected area. Gradually, the grass will be dried, and the mold will be less visible. This infection can also occur at high temperatures like 50° and on cool nights, commonly in the Summer and Autumn. And in Winter, it slumbers in the soil; when the situation allows, the fungal spores become functional. And the spores allow the infection to spread.
What Causes Dollar Spots on the Lawn?
You might get a dollar spot on your lawn for varieties of reasons. We talked to many people to identify the basic reasons for it. And finally, we determined some of the specific reasons that mostly cause Doller spots. However, it’s all about how you are taking care of your lawn. Indeed, you need to change some habits if you find frequent dollar spots.
- Insufficiency of Lawn Food: To get a fine lawn, you have to maintain an appropriate proportion of fertilizer. Without proper food, the lawn gets infected by the dollar spots. Unhealthy lawns can be prone to getting infected by fungal infections.
- Humid and Dall Weather: Gloomy and dull weather encouraged dollar spots to dissipate over the grasses. Since it is not in your hands to control the weather, you can control the habit of watering again and again on the lawn. It will create a muggy surface in the soil, which will encourage infections to escalate.
- Frequent and Excessive Mowing: This is another prominent reason that provokes infections. If you cut your grasses too shortly, it will encourage your lawn to be infected by unwanted infections. Shorter lawn grasps damp so long.
- Thatch Build-up: Thatch is another obstacle to having a healthy lawn. Scattering your lawn surface with Thatch will create a barrier to getting sufficient oxygen in the soil. This will hamper the soil to be healthy.
- Poor Grass Quality: If you have a grass seed lawn and the quality of the seed is not good, it may get affected by the fungus that causes dollar spots frequently. That’s why you should learn about the types of lawn grass and choose the right one.
The turf’s quality also depends on how resistant the grass will be against the fungus. So, when you start the new lawn, you should try to find the best quality lawn grass seeds or turf with good disease resistance characteristics.
How to Treat Doller Spots on the Lawn?
I am not sure how much the fungicides work to remove dollar spots on your lawn, but I know about a popular way to treat your lawn when this disease appears. It’s basically a process that continues for about a week or more. The treatment will help you make your lawn healthier enough to fight dollar spots.
And the treatment is all about a few ways to care for your lawn. You don’t need any particular medicine or machines. Instead, you need to be punctual and try some tricks to help it. However, dollar spots on your lawn indicate that the lawn is not in its healthiest form. And so, you should take quick steps to get rid of it. Follow the below tips to get rid of the stubborn dollar spots on your lawn.
- Reduce watering the lawn for a few days. Only water in every 3 to 4 days until the dollar spots disappear. In wet areas, the fungi can build their suitable inhabitants. So, you have to let them get dried so that the fungi can die.
- The dollar spots mostly appear in the Fall. So, you have to add organic compost or homemade fertilizers to the affected area if it is Fall. Use the compost as the topdressing and ensure you are not overusing the compost. Also, make sure to use compost to improve the soil microbe population.
- If you have fertilizer at home that is enriched with nitrogen, use it. Make sure to use it with the right amount.
- The affected area should get a minimized thatch layer. You can use a power rake or verticutter instead of that.
- Aerate the affected area properly. Remove all the insects if there are any. And use a rake to find if there is any pest in the area.
- If you have any pre-emergent herbicide at home, use it following the instruction manual. It is not mandatory, but it can help your lawn to get back to its previous condition.
- Remove all the dead grass and weed in the affected area. Make it clean, and then use new grass seed to grow grass in the bald area.
These are the easy tricks you can apply to get rid of the irritating dollar spots on your lawn. Once again, we suggest not to take action against the dollar spot as soon as you find them. Otherwise, it can keep growing and will soon grasp all the area of your lawn. Besides, if there are lots of spots appearing on your lawn already, you should try fungicides or neem oil to prevent them.
How to Prevent Doller Spots on the Lawn?
People say prevention is better than treatment, and it goes the same in the case of dollar spot. So, we always take necessary steps to prevent dollar spots instead of waiting for them to appear on our lawn. The prevention method is nothing serious, and you can do it by yourself. As usual, it’s about some techniques you should always try to keep your lawn healthy.
1. Make Sure to Reduce Thatch
Thatch is a prominent hindrance to healthy soil. Thatch opposed oxygen from getting inside the soil. A better way to get a solution is to mow regularly. Thatch removal helps you stop the reproduction of the fungus, and it can increase air circulation.
2. Decrease Soil Compaction
The compaction of soil can create an obstacle to getting more oxygen, water, and other nutrients from retrieving the roots. You may create a hole to water it to get rid of it. So that the baby grassroots get proper moisture. Improving soil aeration and water drainage can get you relief from this unpleasant issue.
3. Get Rid of Morning Dew Instantly
Understanding soil humidity is notable for deterring dollar spots from the turf. Fungal infections can be boosted by excessive humidity. In the morning, grasses get more moisture. Mowing in the morning with the help of a hose pipe can reduce extra due, which can enable you to prevent dollar spots. Improving air movement can get your soil free from fungal attacks.
4. Apply Fertilizer at The Right Time
Proper fertilization is a better way to prevent dollars spots. Many diseases can be balanced if your turf gets proper nutrition at the right time. If you want to see a healthy lawn in the Summer, you have to feed your lawn Nitrogen and other foods in the Spring. You should also learn about how to apply fertilizer on your lawn properly.
Preventing diseases with the right proportion of fertilizers at the right time helps you to cure all your lawn problems. That’s why you should take precautions at the right time. And the best time for applying fertilizer is in Spring or Autumn. In the same way, to get a sound lawn during the damper season, you should nourish your lawn properly in the Autumn.
5. Improve Sun Exposure and Airflow
If there are shades all over your lawn, fungi that cause dollar spots can spread easily. That is why you have to reduce shade so that the ground gets sufficient sun exposure. Also, it is essential for the lawn to get enough air to be healthy and clean.
To increase sun exposure and airflow, you can try a few tricks. If you have many big trees around the lawn, just cut off the low-hanging branches that make shades. If the fences around the lawn make shades, you should change them and try grill fences. Besides, you should mow the lawn properly so that the grass is not too long to keep the ground in the shade.
Besides, you should occasionally use nitrogen fertilizer, regularly clean the weeds, check and remove all the insects, oversee the lawn frequently, and occasionally use a pre-emergent herbicide to keep your lawn healthy and free from dollar spots. Not just the dollar spots, these tricks will eventually keep your lawn safe from most other lawn diseases like brown patches, fairy rings, pink snow mold, etc.
Q: What causes dollar spots on the lawn?
A: Generally, the dollar spot is a fungal disease of lawn. And the fungi names Sclerotinia homoeocarpa causes this disease. This fungus affects turf and grass seed lawns because of the Fall and gloomy weather, poor drainage, irregular irrigations, and wet ground.
Q: What is the best fungicide for the dollar spot?
A: There are many different fungicides to remove fungi, Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, that causes the dollar spots on the lawn. Among them, Fludioxonil, Propiconazole, and similar fungicides work the best.
Q: Does grass recover from the dollar spot?
A: Yes, a grass lawn with dollar spots can easily recover if you ensure the right treatment for it. For that, you have to water it less and aerate it properly. You also need to use some fungicides or neem oil to get rid of it.
Q: Is brown patch the same as dollar spot?
A: No, brown patches and the dollar spots are not the same at all. But in their early stages, they look pretty much similar. As they grow, they will show different symptoms, so you will easily identify them. Generally, the dollar spots are small brown spots that look like dollars, while the brown patches take a bigger area that may not be circular like the dollar spots.
Q: Does nitrogen Help to get rid of dollar spot?
A: Yes, nitrogen helps your lawn to get rid of dollar spots. And that’s why nitrogen fertilizers are highly recommended to use on a lawn with dollar spots.
I will appreciate it if you are reading this article not because you have already found dollar spots on your lawn but because you don’t want them in the future. That means you are looking for prevention.
Remember that the fungus that causes dollar spots are stubborn as a mule, and it will make you suffer unless you take quick action. That’s why you should be careful, even if your lawn has no symptom of having dollar spots right now.
And if you are here to learn about the treatment to get rid of the existing dollar spots on the lawn, take action as soon as possible. You must get some tricks that help fight dollar spot. If they are numerous, use organic neem oil instead of any synthetic insecticides. And don’t forget to follow the simple tricks I have already mentioned.
I hope you will get a beautiful lawn that is free from all sorts of lawn diseases, including dollar spots. Next time I will tell you about some other lawn diseases that you may not be familiar with. So, stay with us, at least for the sake of your lawn. Thank you.