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Identifying & Treating the Worst Lawn Diseases in Memphis, TN & North Mississippi

Weeds are usually pretty easy to spot in your lawn. They stick out with their gangly appearance and off-color.

But common lawn diseases are not as simple to see. The right conditions can bring them out, and many of them resemble some sort of patchy or strangely shaped spots.

But these types of blemishes could be from drought or even where your dog likes to mark its territory, so how are you supposed to know it’s a lawn disease?

While lawn diseases are challenging to identify, there are a few that are common lawn problems in Memphis, TN and North MS.

Let’s look at the worst offenders to help you sharpen your identification skills, as well as suggest ways you can keep these eye sores to a minimum in your lawn.

Common Lawn Diseases in Memphis, TN and North MS

You want a green, thick lawn that looks inviting for summertime spent outdoors.

lawn care technician on liquid sprayer machine applying treatment to lawn

What you’re after for a great lawn is expanses of thick, green grass stands. A sea of green that smells like summer and outdoor freshness.

Lawn diseases in zone 8a tend to show up in your lawn in a very aesthetically unpleasing way with their splotches and patchy appearance.

Here are some common lawn diseases in Memphis, TN and North MS, as well as some things you can do, based on the specific disease, that can protect your lawn and help get it back to thick, green, and blemish-free.


Lawn Rust (Puccinia) is a largely cosmetic lawn fungus species.

It starts with yellow, orange spores or fruiting bodies that damage individual grass blades. In fact, if your lawn has Rust and you walk through it, you might notice bits of these yellow-orange spores coming off on your shoes.

Lawn Rust (puccinia) CC

This is how the disease spreads. If you look closely, you can even see them on the grass blades.

Lawn Rust likes more moderate temperatures – anywhere from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as long evenings – more than 10 hours – of dew, moisture, and humidity.

A healthy lawn that receives a balanced fertilization program is your best defense against Lawn Rust.

Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot (sclerotinia homoeocarpa) is one of the worst lawn diseases in Memphis, TN and North MS.

This fungus appears as small straw-colored circles that are roughly 2 to 6 inches in diameter. They can be very unsightly, especially as they multiply.

Dollar Spot (sclerotinia homoeocarpa) CC

Dollar Spot usually comes along in late spring and can last through autumn, causing the most damage in June and July. It loves under-fertilized grass, as well as lawns impacted by drought and compaction.

If you take care of your lawn with adequate fertilization and annual aeration and overseeding treatments, you can keep Dollar Spot from taking over your lawn.

Brown Patch

Along with humidity and summer temperatures comes a lawn fungus species called Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani).

Just like its name implies, Brown Patch shows up in circular patches that are brownish-yellow in color on some cool-season and warm-season grasses.

Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani) CC

This disease likes heat and humidity, particularly when nighttime temperatures remain consistently above 68 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime temperatures are at or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

To battle this lawn enemy, remember to properly fertilize your lawn. Once rainfall resumes after dry summers, Brown Patch usually begins to disappear.

Overseeding your lawn in the fall can help thicken up thin or bare areas, helping to further protect it from problems down the road.

Lawn Disease Control in Your Memphis, TN and North MS Lawn

Now that you know more about some of the worst lawn diseases in Memphis, TN and North MS you might be able to identify any of the strange spots you might see show up in your grass, as well as make a list of what you need to do to manage or limit them.

In addition to boosting overall lawn health with fertilization, aeration, proper watering, and mowing, you might still find you have some spots that are more disease-prone than others.

It’s normal to have places that bring about the right disease conditions more often, increasing disease pressure there. For example, places that have shade most of the day don’t get a chance to dry out or cool, so they go into the evening warmer than other locations. This can create a recipe for diseases to spread.

Also, since Memphis, TN and North MS summers can get fairly warm and humid, a high percentage of lawns here can experience some form of lawn disease.

If you notice patches, do some work to improve your lawn and make sure your lawn care provider is providing a blanched fertilization program.

And, if this doesn’t work, and you are still suffering from spotty, blemished grass, you might want to consider turf disease control, which is particularly helpful on zoysiagrass lawns in this area.

Still confused about whether or not you have a common lawn disease problem in your lawn? Tired of seeing spots? Don’t let lawn fungus species spoil your summer. Give Lawn & Pest Solutions a call. We can tell you what’s really going on in your lawn and offer some suggestions to get that green, thick grass back.

Are lawn diseases keeping you from having a lawn you can be proud of? We’d love to learn more. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we’ll prepare a customized plan for your Memphis, TN and North MS lawn.

Image Sources | Lawn Rust, Dollar Spot, Brown Patch

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