(Photo credit: University of Maine Cooperative Extension)
Black spots in your lawn can be a result of a number of different ailments; be it a disease, mold/fungus, or your children had to spray paint a last-minute art project. However currently Maine and other areas are seeing something not seen in years, or even decades. According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s website, these black spots appearing in neighborhood lawns the past few weeks in due to a black fungal disease that attacks stressed lawns. Likely due to the lack of substantial rain for the past month or so.
The UMaine Cooperative Extension says no pesticide or lawn treatment will cure this as the lawn is already dead and the fungus only eats dead grass. The only thing you can do after the disease hits is to ensure your lawn is being watered regularly (especially during periods of drought), and to reseed the area with grass to fill in the holes left by the black spots. Remember when you add new grass seed, those areas will need more water than grass that is already established.
Some landscapers and lawn care experts have never seen this, others haven’t seen it commonly in over 3 decades. This type of lawn disease only affects stressed grass, last month’s drought is the cause. The best way to prevent this and other lawn care issues is to ensure you’re watering your lawn enough. During periods of little-to-no rain, your lawn will become stressed and requires watering. Hand watering is not consistent, so we recommend a sprinkler be run over your entire yard about every three days depending on the severity of the heat, drought, and climate. It is usually better to water heavy and less often (3-4 days) than lightly every day to prevent shallow rooting.
Posted on July 12, 2020
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