Damp, cool weather brings fungal problems to East Texas lawns - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Damp, cool weather brings fungal problems to East Texas lawns

(Source: KTRE) (Source: KTRE)
(Source: KTRE) (Source: KTRE)
(Source: KTRE) (Source: KTRE)
(Source: KTRE) (Source: KTRE)

Despite all the clear weather, many lawns around East Texas are covered in random brown patches.

This is largely due to the cool moist spring weather. Extremely wet grass promotes fungus growth and can actually harm lawns said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent Cary Sims.

Homeowner Ernest Rowe, 82, said he noticed something unusual about his yards this year.

"This year, it was more of less solid. It didn't look like fungus," Rowe said.

After further investigation, Sims determined Rowe's backyard was covered with fungus spores.

Sims said the fungal problems grow when the turf remains wet and over fertilized. 

"When we pamper our yards with too much water, and too much fertilizer, we're setting it up for failure," Sims said.

Sims said this spring season has been cooler than usual, as a result, the old habits of watering the lawn frequently compounds the fungal problems.

"A good rule of thumb is that a lawn needs an inch of water a week. If possible we need to spread that out from 1 or 2 applications from our sprinkler system," Sims said.

In addition, Sims recommends to let the grass completely dry before watering. By portioning out the parts of the yard during water applications throughout the week, residents can not only prevent moisture-loving fungus spores, but can also provide an outdoor activity of maintaining the lawn.

As for Rowe, he said he knows he has a long way to go before his lawn is considered manicured.

"If you're going to fool with St. Augustine grass, seem like there's always something," Rowe said. "You can count something's going to be eating on it."

Diseases are common with almost all grass types. Although it occurs naturally, the damage can depend heavily on how you manage our lawns.

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