Gray Leaf Spot disease is caused by a fungus and requires special fungicides for treatment. You’re most likely to notice Gray Leaf Spot disease during the wettest months of the year. The rain and high humidity create the perfect environment for this fungus to flourish.
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Gray Leaf Spot is a perfect name for this disease because it describes exactly what you should look for. If affected, you’ll notice your blades of grass will have a discoloration of a gray circle, often surrounded by a dark green ring. Usually the spot is circular or oval. As the fungus spreads through the grass, the entire blade changes color as the spots merge together.
The best way to avoid Gray Leaf Spot disease is to water your lawn at the appropriate time of day. Set your sprinkler system for the early morning, so the grass will dry quickly. Evening waterings often leave the grass wet for too long and invite the fungus to take root.
Most lawns affected by the fungus are those with primarily St. Augustine grass. It’s the most prone to this type of infection. The youngest grass is the most likely to be afflicted. Well-established lawns have more protection from damage.
As with all other lawn problems, it’s essential to water and fertilize in the appropriate amounts to avoid issues with bugs or fungus. If you do have Gray Leaf Spot disease, you’ll need to consult a professional. Fungicides, which are the only way to treat this problem, are difficult to apply properly. Some types are not appropriate for residential use.