There are lots of conditions that can affect your lawn, from environmental settings to disease. If you give your lawn a bit of care and attention you can spot changes in it early and diagnose the problem. This article gives some information on spotting leaf blight and treating your lawn.
The first sign that there may be something wrong with your grass is if it becomes thin and straggly. This is a sure sign that it is not growing properly, or even that it's being actively killed off. If you've had a long spell of cool, wet weather you should be aware that this is the perfect growing condition of leaf blight.
You should always take a close look at the grass plant to see if there are any obvious signs of disease. Discoloured grass is a symptom of weakness, and spots on the turf show that there is a disease like a fungus that's taken hold. Specific symptoms of leaf blight include yellowing grass and red or brown spots on the leaves. You'll be able to see these spots quite clearly and the taller your grass is, there more there will be.
Leaf blight generally does not kill the whole plant, but it drives in cool wet weather so if the weather persists, the disease will only continue and could actually damage your lawn beyond repair. It's particularly virulent in under-fertilized turf which is not very strong. If the weather turns and you get some nice sunny days you might find that the disease goes away by itself.
You could actually be spreading the disease around your lawn through every day activities like walking on it and mowing. Fungus is spread through spores, so when the spores move around the disease does too. If you've got a case of leaf blight be aware that you may not want to mow until you've got the problem under control. You should also keep your use of the lawn to a minimum as your turf is probably weak and you may damage it further.
If your turf has leaf blight you'll need to use a fungicide to help. Prevention is always better than the cure however and some simple steps will stop the disease from occurring in the first place. Firstly, make sure that your lawn is properly fertilized. Too much or too little fertilizer can make the leaf fight worse. Also mow your lawn regularly – if your turf is long it will stay wet for a long time and this is a good condition for fungi. Well-mown grass is healthier and stronger.
The same goes for watering – you do not want your turf to stay wet for too long if it's susceptible to leaf blight, so when you see the first signs start watering your lawn in the morning or early afternoon so it has time to dry off before night. The better you look after your lawn, the sooner it will be able to fight the disease off and the faster it will recover.