One of the biggest problems that lawn owners and carers have to deal with is that of pests, diseases, and fungus. Disease control is very important for DIY-ers and pros alike. This is because of the wide variety of problems that can arise in plants, the types of plants, and more importantly, the fragile nature of many plant species.
Some hardy plants, such as ficus, conocarpus, cherry, and other plants, can also die off if you fail to take care of them properly, particularly when they are being plagued by pests. There are numerous identifiers for these pests, one of them being spider webs. One common question people ask in terms of pests is why my yard is covered in spider webs.
If you find spider webs on your damp grass, you may be dealing with a bigger issue, i.e., that of the dollar spot fungus. This is a spot fungus that creates “cobwebs” on the grass. Morning dew creates small droplets on top of the web, thriving in damp conditions. However, it disappears when the dew dries off.
Why is My Yard Covered in Spider Webs?
Spider webs on your lawn, as mentioned above, is indicative of the Dollar Spot Fungus. This fungus is notorious in damp regions such as Alaska, Mississippi, Iowa, and more and gets its name from the brown spots it creates in the lawn.
The spots start small and within a matter of days start growing. Initially, the sport can be as small as a penny and within three days can increase in size, growing up to the size of a dollar. This is when you may start noticing them if you’re someone who keeps their nose close to the grass.
However, if you have someone else caring for your lawn or simply don’t have the time to pay that much attention to your lawn, you will notice them when they are a week or two old and start developing an ‘irregular’ shape. The grass will die off from those spots and resemble spots left behind by draughts. Amateur gardeners may find themselves watering these spots, in particular, hence giving more food to the fungi. This will make the problem much worse. When you water your lawn, you will find that your grass is covered with spiderwebs; and that is when you know that the dollar spot fungus is plaguing your lawn.
There are two culprits behind the infestation:
These organisms are always present in a lawn and are a part of the organisms that take part in the breaking down of fertilizer you add to your grass. They don’t normally start forming ‘cobwebs’ on your grass until your lawn comes under stress, particularly because of a loss of inadequate nitrogen.
When nitrogen is low, the chain reaction begins – especially if the law is being cared for by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Things become worse from then on as drought, overwatering, mowing too much, mowing too little, heavy thatch, improper aeration, and other external circumstances can contribute directly to worsening the disease.
During the day or sunset, you might not see as many spider webs on your lawn as you see early in the morning. This is especially true for warm days and cold nights, where fungi grow rapidly and take hold of your grass – or even your plants if the problem becomes too severe!
What To Do About Spider Webs in My Yard?
One of the best and most effective actions you can take to avoid this problem is to keep your eyes on the grass and identify any patches, or simply take a good look at your lawn when you are leaving for office or school. If you start seeing spider webs in your yard, you should consider using fungicides. The alternative is to change the topsoil completely along with the grass and plants where the fungi or their spores may be.
Furthermore, remember to fertilize your lawn regularly and use only the amount your fertilizer’s label suggests. Remember, while too little fertilizer can lead to stunted growth or spider webs in your yard, using too much fertilizer can burn your plants because of excess nitrogen – not to mention how it will attract snails, moths, and other pests.
You should consider watering your lawn once every week when there is no rain because much like any other fungi, the dollar spot fungus also thrives on water. Your grass may suffer slightly but your more established plants will survive and thrive as the fungus finally starts to die off and release nutrients for your plants to consume.
As an added measure, it is best to water your lawn early in the day. This is so that excess water may evaporate easily before nightfall while the rest gets absorbed in the ground. This will ensure that there is little to no damp space in your yard, effectively mitigating all chances of the fungi to spread or release spores.
If you find that there is any excess thatch in your lawn, you would be well-advised to remove that to allow for air to pass through the grass below it properly and dry out the place. This will also give you the added benefit of reducing places where pests, fungi, and other life could thrive instead of grass, livening up your lawn further. Furthermore, by removing excess thatch you also ensure that the fertilizer you are adding gets seeped into the ground better and reaches the roots.
And finally, there is the option of using fungicides. Using anti-fungal sprays should never be your first choice, especially if you have children or pets that play in your yard – or even if you simply like to stroll in it.
Fungicides are only recommended when you have done all you could to get the fungi under control without chemicals but still aren’t able to get rid of them. Here are some fungicides that you can use for dollar spot control in turf;
- Bacillus licheniformis. Apply on 3 to 14 day-intervals. The common name for this is EcoGuard.
- Boscalid. Apply on 14 to 28 day-intervals. The common name for this is Emerald.
- Chlorothalonil. Apply on 7 to 14 day-intervals. The common name for this is Daconil Ultrex.
- Fenarimol. Apply on 10 to 30 day-intervals. The common name for this is Rubigan.
- Iprodione. Apply on 14 to 28 day-intervals. The common name for this is Chipco 26019
- Mancozeb. Apply on 7 to 14 day-intervals. The common name for this is Fore.
- Myclobutanil. Apply on 14 to 28 day-intervals. The common name for this is Eagle.
- Propiconazole. Apply on 7 to 28 day-intervals. The common name for this is Banner MAXX.
- Pyraclostrobin. Apply on 14 day-intervals. The common name for this is Insignia.
- Thiophanate-Methyl. Apply on 10 to 21 day-intervals. The common name for this is Cleary’s 3336.
- Thiram. Apply on 7 to 10 day-intervals. The common name for this is Sportrete.
- Triadimefon. Apply on 14 to 30 day-intervals. The common name for this is Bayleton.
- Trichoderma Harzianum. Apply on 7 to 14 day-intervals. The common name for this is Bio-trek.
- Triticonazole. Apply on 14 to 28 day-intervals. The common name for this is Trinity.
- Vinclozolin. Apply on 14 to 28 day-intervals. The common name for this is Curalan.
Whenever you buy a fungicide, make sure you follow the instructions on its label. Some can also be harmful to nearby wildlife or aquatic life, so this is worth checking before buying a specific type of fungicide.