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Common Lawn Diseases in Tennessee and How to Prevent Them

Green front lawn

To most people, summer signifies backyard barbecues, summer evenings spent outside with loved ones and lots of sunshine. To your lawn, summer brings with it a whole host of diseases that take over when the warmer weather strikes. You can easily go from having a vibrant, green lawn in the spring to a patchy, drab lawn in the midst of the summer. Read on to learn all about common lawn diseases in Tennessee, and find out what you can do to prevent them from happening in your yard!

Brown Patch

Brown patch is a disease that is common during the warm and humid weather of summer. Brown patch presents itself as dark circular patches on your lawn that grow outward as the disease progresses. There are fewer things more unsightly than brown patches on a once healthy, green lawn!

Here are some causes of brown patch:

  • Mowing your lawn too short (less than 3 inches)
  • Watering too much or in the evening
  • Excessive high Nitrogen fertilizer

Here’s how to prevent brown patch:

  • Fertilize your lawn properly -- use blended fertilizers and get it on a consistent schedule. Consider a monthly preventative fungicide program.
  • Water your lawn deeply but infrequently. Try to water in the early morning between 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. so the water can get to the roots without saturating the soil.
  • Remove thatch from your lawn to let your grass breathe. You should aerate your lawn in the fall, which will help to improve nutrient uptake.
  • Aerate and over seed your lawn in the fall to help it recover after a long, hot summer.

Dollar Spot

Dollar spot is similar to brown patch and creates silver dollar-sized patches on infected Bermuda lawns. Dollar spot is common on Bermuda turf because it is prevalent in lawns that are going through periods of excess drought. Dollar spot in your lawn could mean that your grass has depleted its nutrients in the soil and needs fertilization.


Here’s how to prevent dollar spot:

  • Fertilize your lawn with fertilizers rich in nitrogen and potassium.
  • Water deeply if your lawn has undergone periods of low moisture and ensure that the water has a chance to get to the roots of your grass.
  • Again, water early in the morning to make sure the sun doesn’t evaporate the moisture away! Do not water late at night.
  • Remove excess thatch around the areas where you notice Dollar Spot, and clear it from unaffected areas as well to prevent further spread of the disease.

Summer Patch

This common fungus affects many types of plants - specifically in warmer climates - and destroys grass roots under the ground. To spot this disease, look for wilted circular areas in your lawn that form ring patterns. If left untreated, infected grass will begin to turn a light brown color.

Here’s how to prevent summer patch fungus:

  • Use monthly fungicide treatments to keep ahead of this disease.
  • Use slow-release fertilizer to feed the turf but to avoid rapid growth.
  • Reduce thatch and soil compaction with aeration.
  • Utilize a strategic irrigation system to improve drainage of the soil.

Let a Professional Handle it All For You

These diseases are just the tip of the iceberg -- there are many more that your lawn is susceptible to. Luckily for you, there are professionals out there who can handle this all for you. Here at Southern Spray, we have the tools and the know-how to control and prevent lawn diseases in all seasons. If you’re tired of playing a guessing game when it comes to taking care of your lawn, let us take care of it for you!

Learn more about our lawn care and how it can help you today!