As lawn care and lawn maintenance professionals, we want no fungus among us. Fungus can be a lawn’s best friend or worst enemy. Where one fungus ensures the metabolic health of an entire golf course, another can wipe it out overnight. When blight hits a landscape you are responsible for maintaining, it can be a nightmare.
There are millions of fungus types in the world. Most are benign to humans, and are actually essential to life on earth. Without fungus, life as we know it would collapse. But when funguses get out of order, they can invade and wipe out other populations. When your responsibility is grass care, you’ve got to understand the fungus you’re dealing with.
Pythium is a fungus that can spread to kill lawn and garden areas in just a few hours. It affects Perennial Rye, Bend Grasses, KBG, Fescue, and Bermudagrass. You’ll tend to see it pop up in cool weather, but it has been a blight to lawns and golf courses as far south as Florida. Anthracnose is another fungus that is deadly to grass. It lies dormant over the winter and springs to life once the weather gets warm enough. When it has reached critical mass, you’ll see acres of grass suddenly rot from the base, as if overnight. There are many other funguses out there that you don’t want anywhere near your landscape.
The one thing these various funguses have in common is that they are spread by humans. They stick to shoes and clothes, as well as the undersides of unwashed mowers. Spores are easily tracked into new regions, even miles away. If the fungus finds this new area hospitable, they can quickly grow to wipe out the new lawn, and all of your hard work.
Fortunately, prevention is easy. All it takes it cleanliness. Take care to wash your clothes, shoes, and mowers after each job, especially when taking your equipment onto a new site. Even if fungus doesn’t appear to be present in an area doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It may be lying dormant, able to catch a ride on your shoes if you move to an area where it is able to thrive. Wright makes products that are easy to clean, to make sure that accidental fungal infestation risks are minimized. But the last line of defense is you and your team. So next time you finish work for the day, take ten minutes to rinse and scrub your equipment. The fungus may be out of luck, but the landscapes you work on will thank you.