One of the most challenging things for Wisconsin homeowners or property managers is identifying lawn diseases. Yesterday the turf looked great, but today, it appears sick, matted, and patchy. Trying to diagnose what happened, how it got there, and finding the proper treatment is hard to do. To help you find the correct solution, our lawn disease experts at Landscape Associates have details below.

What Are The 7 Lawn Diseases Found in Wisconsin Yards?

Depending on the time of year, and favorable conditions, any lawn is susceptible to sickness. In the State of Wisconsin, we have seven known lawn diseases. Below we’ve listed the common name and its scientific name if applicable.

  • Snow Molds – (Microdochium nivale and Typhula spp.)
  • Necrotic Ring Spot – (Ophiosphaerella korrae)
  • Fairy Rings – (many mushroom-forming fungi)
  • Summer Patch – (Magnaporthe poae)
  • Dollar Spot – (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa)
  • Red Thread – (Laetisaria fuciformis)
  • Rust  – (Puccinia spp., Uromyces spp.)

Do note: some areas of our state may only experience one or two diseases, but other parts, all seven.

What Do You Need To Know First?

Like with any disease, there is a process you can follow to diagnose whether your yard does indeed have a sickness. Once you use a 6-Point diagnosis, you can quickly take steps to help your lawn recover.

The 6-Point diagnosis process goes as follows:

  • Occurrence – What time of year did you notice the disease?
  • Favorable Conditions – Was it hot, cold, wet weather, dry, etc.?
  • Hosts – What type of lawn grass, fescues, ryegrass, etc.?
  • Symptoms – Was the area patchy, reddish-brown, rink-like, etc.?
  • Disease Name – Based on the above details, will determine its name.
  • Management – What was needed, reseed the lawn, core aerate, etc.?

Here Is A 6-Point Example

Just like a physician, you review the yard’s symptoms. What you uncover will lead you to a lawn disease diagnosis, its name, and a management cure. Below we’ve provided a sample of a disease that begins in the Spring.

  1. Occurrence: Spring, summer, and fall
  2. Favorable Conditions: Cool (soil temperatures of 55 to 65° F) and wet conditions for infection, followed by heat and drought stress for symptom development; most severe when soil compaction limits rooting
  3. Host: Kentucky bluegrass
  4. Symptoms: Circular, straw-colored patches usually less than 12 inches in diameter; regrowth often occurring in the center of patches, creating a “frog-eye” appearance; most common in newly sodded lawns, but also occurring in seeded lawns
  5. Disease Name: Necrotic Ring Spot (Ophiosphaerella korrae)
  6. Management: Reduce soil compaction and improve lawn drainage. Maintain proper fertility.

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison / Lawn Disease Quick Reference

Need Help Diagnosing A Lawn Disease?

At Landscape Associates, we understand trying to diagnose a lawn disease is tricky. When you don’t know where to begin or who to call, it’s frustrating. But that’s where our lawn disease team can take that burden off your shoulders when you give us a call.

For more tips and advice from Landscape Associates, sign up for our free e-mail newsletter or check out our other articles here. If you are concerned about your landscape, contact us here or give us a call at 920-337-4915 with questions you may have.