Fusarium Patch (Microdochium Nivale) disease is the most common of all lawn diseases in the UK, although the symptoms are most severely seen in fine turf.
You will know if this disease is present by orange/brown circular patches which will appear on your lawn. As it spreads the patches become larger and more irregular in shape.
As the disease matures these patches can have brown edges with yellowing off in the middle. Prolonged humidity (even when cold) can produce sparse white or pink mycelium – these looks a little like small snatches of candy floss.
Although usually found in the Autumn as it favours warm, humid conditions, Fusarium Patch can also appear after there has been snow lying on the lawn for some lengthy period. The disease can spread and take hold under cover of a snow blanket – hence the common name ‘Snow Mould’. It normally subsides a little as the air temperature warms up and lawns dry out. As with all diseases, it is much easier to prevent than to cure and proper lawn care and maintenance is the answer.
Key to maintaining a healthy lawn is a fertilisation programme to ensure the lawn does not get stressed due to a lack of nutrients, making it vulnerable to attack. In some cases a fungicide treatment can prevent susceptible lawns and/or help stem the tide if the disease is caught early. Lawns can require a follow up treatment within 6 weeks of the initial application if the weather does not start to dry out.
If you can see evidence of this disease the following steps are a good start:
Do not walk on lawn when covered with snow and try to minimise traffic until the lawn is dryer.
If you are feeling keen then use a bamboo cane on the lawn every morning to knock off the morning dew helping the grass blades to dry out thus preventing further attack. Professional green keepers call this switching.
Rake out dead grass plants as the weather warms up.
Re-seed patches that have been infected in Spring.
If you would like some help with Spring lawn regeneration do let us know we'd be happy to quote.