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Lawn Care Blog

Red Thread Disease

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cold, wet weather can cause fungal diseases in your lawn.  This spring has been extraordinarily cold and damp in northern Maryland, so be sure to keep an eye out for fungi.  While we can’t predict the types of fungus that will prevail, nor can we control the weather, we simply have to watch and try to make sure the grass and soil have proper care and nutrients.  One of the common diseases that appears in this type of weather is Red Thread disease.  It’s easily identifiable by its red or pink color.  Unfortunately, by the time it appears, it’s already too late.  It has already affected the grass blade and become a patch.  To make matters worse, it can be spread by windy conditions to other parts of your lawn.  

Once you’ve identified Red Thread, you simply have to wait it out and let the infection run its course.  One of the causes of Red Thread is low nitrogen levels in the soil, so you should be sure the soil is healthy.  Any fungus on the lawn is an indication that something isn’t being done correctly.  You can get a better idea of what might be causing it by consulting a lawn care professional.  You can also follow a few simple steps when caring for your lawn, like not overwatering, using a sharp lawn mower blade and not cutting the grass too short.  Overly wet grass and very short grass can be an ideal environment for fungus or bacteria.  Talk to your lawn care professional about fungus prevention and balanced soil nutrients.  They can offer good insight and services so that you won’t see that red thread running through your green grass.

It’s a Cool Season for Grasses

Saturday, November 17, 2012

If you’re seeding your lawn in Baltimore County or Harford County before winter sets in this year, consider using blue grasses, fescues and perennial ryes.  These are cool season grasses that are among the most common for Maryland lawns.  They stay green longer into the winter months because they thrive in cooler weather and are most often used by professional lawn care companies.  Turf type fescue is especially tolerant of drought conditions, so any lawns that included tall fescue this summer are probably in good shape.  In addition, tall fescue is the last to turn brown at the end of the season.  Bluegrasses tend to brown out first.  

Often, perennial ryegrass is used for fast growth.  It can germinate in seven to 10 days and provide a suitable lawn cover for a starter lawn, so it’s often used by builders.  However, perennial ryegrass is prone to disease, so even mixing it with a better grass seed can endanger the entire lawn.   

Fescues are better choices, but know your types – they include tall and fine leaf.  Tall fescue germinates in about 10-13 days, has a coarse texture and doesn’t need as much water or fertilizer as other types of grass.  It does, however, grow quickly and require more attention during the active season.  The Maryland Department of Agriculture research shows that a mix of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass results in a richer and healthier lawn.  The weight of the seeds allows for a 90 percent fescue and 10 percent bluegrass mix, which grows more like a 50-50 mixture.  Bluegrass helps keep the lawn thicker because it prevents loss of plant material.  This mix combined with a professional lawn maintenance plan, can give you year-round peace of mind for your lawn. 

Cool Season Grasses Doing Well

Monday, October 31, 2011

This is the time of year Maryland lawns really start looking their best. That's because turf in our region is comprised of cool season grass varieties.  These include: Tall Fesque, Perrenial Rye Grass, Kentucky Bluegrass.  Most of the lawns in the mid-atlantic are a mixture of these varieties.

They all thrive in cooler weather which usually brings ample soil moisture making conditions optimal for green healthy turf. Fall is a great time to fertilize your cool season lawn which will give it a deep green color into the holiday season!

If your lawn is looking thin and bare, call HillSide and we can aerate and overseed your lawn with Tall Fesque which does well getting established in the fall.  This will produce grass seedlings which will eventually turn into mature cool season turf.


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