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Winter In Dallas! How Do I Prevent Lawn Diseases & Insect Infestations?

October 15, 2021 - Lawn Care

many aphids crawling on a leaf

Taking care of a lawn here in Texas can be a daunting task. In the summer, we have to deal with long droughts and sweltering heat that can stifle green grass in a heartbeat. In the spring and fall, we have to deal with bouts of severe weather that can flood yards in a matter of hours and rip up landscaping at the drop of a hat.

In winter, we have to deal with intermittent hard freezes, ice, and snow that can hit with little warning. That means keeping your grass alive and healthy can be a year-round battle that’s easy to lose. In addition to the weather, there are two other threats to your lawn’s health: disease and pests. Below, we’ll talk about how to deal with both.

Preventing Lawn Diseases

Fungal and viral diseases can kill your grass and shrubs like there’s no tomorrow. Fungal disease is one of the leading causes of lawn death in our area, and your efforts to combat it should be focused on prevention above cure. Keeping your grass strong and healthy will make it more resistant to fungal damage.

  • Proper Watering: Watch the amount of water you use. Underwatering your grass can make it weak and more vulnerable. Overwatering can help yard fungi get a foothold. Give your grass around an inch of water per week, and water in the morning so any excess can evaporate.
  • Proper Mowing: Keep your grass at the correct length. Cutting blades too short makes them more vulnerable to disease.
  • Proper Drainage: Root rot is a common problem in plants that sit in overly moist soil. If spots in your yard regularly flood, they may need aeration or the addition of soil additives to improve drainage.

If you already are seeing signs of fungal infection – such as dead or dying patches or small brown spots all over your yard – you may need to take measures to kill the fungus. It’s important to determine the type of fungus you have before applying treatment, as some fungi don’t respond to certain antifungal products.

Sometimes, changing your plants’ lifestyle by getting them out of the shade and watering them less is all you need to do. Other times, you may need to remove damaged leaves and stems and apply the appropriate fungicide.

Preventing Lawn Pests

The biggest pest threats to a nice green lawn and healthy landscaping and gardens in our area are aphids, stink bugs, bagworms (black moth caterpillars), chinch bugs, and spider mites. Depending on which bug you’re dealing with, they may damage your trees, your shrubs, your grass, or all three. If your trees or grass start dying, your first thought may be a fungal disease or plant virus. However, take a closer look. You may have a pest infestation on your hands.

Some symptoms of pests can resemble those of disease, but there are some subtle ways to tell the difference, such as:

  • Look at brown spots or dead patches in the grass – you may find insects either in the grass or on the ground underneath.
  • Wilting grass blades are a sign of dehydration that results from pests sucking the liquid from the plant.
  • Bite marks on grass or leaves are a big indicator that your problems could be pest rather than disease-related.
  • Holes in the soil and missing roots may indicate subterranean pests that feed on the roots of grass or shrubs.

If you do wind up with lawn pests, they can be a pain to get rid of. What’s worse is bugs can introduce fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases into your lawn or garden. That means you’ll probably need professional lawn care. Here at Addison Green Lawn, we’ve got the expertise and experience to help you with any lawn problem you’ve got – from disease to pests to weeds and more! So give us a call at (972) 833-0682 or visit our contact page to schedule your consultation.

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