Lawn rust is a fungal disease that occurs on turf grasses (most commonly on bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass, and zoysiagrass). Rust disease can weaken the vigor of the grass and open it to other diseases and turf problems. The lawn care professionals at Fairway Lawns can help treat lawn rust disease and get your grass looking green and lush once more! Contact us today!
Rust Disease Symptoms
Rust disease is quite easy to spot—affected lawns resemble an orangey-rust color, hence the name. If your lawn is infected with rust disease, you will see tiny orange to reddish-brown flecks on grass blades. As the disease progresses, those flecks enlarge to form raised pustules that release yellow-orange powdery dust that sticks to everything and may stain shoes, clothes, etc.
However, lawn rust disease is not just a cosmetic issue. When a rust disease outbreak is especially severe, affected patches of the lawn turn orange or reddish in color and become thin and weak.
Rust disease can:
Reduce the grass’ ability to photosynthesize
Slow grass growth
Make grass weak and prone to damage and other diseases
Cause the entire lawn to look less healthy
Lawn Rust Prevention & Treatment
Rust fungi (Puccinia species) thrive in warm, humid conditions and develop most frequently on lawns that are stressed by drought, low nitrogen, and shade. Here is how you can prevent and manage rust disease:
Maintain adequate nitrogen levels – Too much or too little nitrogen can both cause problems. Lawns that have too low nitrogen are at risk for developing rust disease so proper fertilization is key.
Mow your grass regularly – When you cut off the top layer of rust fungus, it allows the remaining grass to get proper air circulation. Be sure not to cut too low and you should mow with a grass catcher or remove the leftover clippings.
Proper irrigation – Regular watering and watering in the mornings both help discourage further lawn rust growth. This will assist your grass to grow quickly and will give it time to dry out during the day. Irrigating your lawn, especially during drought conditions, is crucial but do not overwater.
Fungicide treatment – For particularly bad outbreaks of rust disease, a fungicide may be necessary for control. Our expert lawn technicians can inspect your grass and determine if a fungicide treatment plan is necessary.