Fusarium Patch Disease (Microdochium nivale) is one of the most common lawn diseases in the UK. It usually occurs in lawns during autumn then through winter and can particularly take hold at this time, as the grass plant is weaker and not growing quickly enough to recover itself.
The disease spores are prevalent everywhere in lawns, but will particularly cause a problem if environmental conditions are right. If the weather is unusually mild for the time of year, and overnight temperatures are above the seasonal average, or there has been a reduction in daylight hours and morning mists, these conditions are ideal for the disease to grow.
The incubation period for the spores that cause the disease is very short and a seemingly healthy lawn with no problems can sometimes develop overnight in a lawn if the conditions are right.
The disease manifests as patches of yellow-brown grass or a white mould, sometimes known as snow mould, aptly named as the mould has a white cotton wool like appearance and it can also appear after the ground has had a covering of snow. The snow acts as an insulator for the spores allowing them to develop and thrive. If this does happen, then more extensive damage can occur. Over a period of weeks the grass within these patches will die back leaving bare ground.
It is possible to minimise the chances of an attack of Fusarium by keeping the lawn surface dry where possible by have good drainage and removing leaf coverage. Even in winter, keep your lawn well maintained and trimmed to about an inch and a half in length. By not allowing it to become too long your lawn will be less vulnerable to an attack of the disease.
If Fusarium does occur in your lawn, you think your lawn is at risk from the disease or you would like to talk to us for more information, please go to the ‘contact us’ tab on the website, and we will answer your query as soon as possible.