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Dead Grass that Looks like Tire Tracks? It Could Be Leaf Blight

Ascochyta leaf blight is a common disease of Kentucky bluegrass lawns in Colorado. It may also occur on tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. The disease results in rapid development of large, straw-colored blighted areas of the lawn during the summer.

Are you noticing any track marks around your yard that look like dead grass? It may seem like it’s damage from fertilizer or the tires on your lawn mower, but it’s not likely. Chances are that it’s actually a lawn disease known as Ascochyta leaf blight. This fungus has been targeting many lawns here in Colorado, but we have the tips on how to control and prevent this summer lawn disease!

What Is It?

Ascochyta leaf blight is a fungal lawn disease that attacks grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass. This disease attacks the blades of the grass and makes them appear bleached or brown. It mainly occurs during the summer when your lawn is already vulnerable to being stressed from the heat and weather conditions.

Why Does It Occur?

Leaf blight comes rather quickly and can spread throughout your lawn easily. You might first notice it after you mow your lawn and the areas where the tire tracks are. This might happen because the tires will pick up spores of the disease and spread them across your lawn to other spots and it appears most noticeable in the spots that are driven over.

How Can It Be Fixed?

Luckily, leaf blight does not attack the crown or roots of the grass so the damage looks worse than it actually is. The grass is still damaged and you should take action as soon as you notice the disease. Start by using a fungicide on your lawn. This will halt the fungus from spreading further. When the disease stops spreading, the damaged areas will just grow out over time. Make sure you continue mowing and watering by following the proper techniques for each. Keep your lawn mower blades sharp and don’t mow your lawn too short to prevent further stressing your lawn. Don’t water too often because that will also make your lawn more vulnerable to disease. Check out our Colorado Watering guide here.... It’s always better to water deeply, but infrequently. A good way to prevent your lawn from becoming vulnerable to leaf blight and other diseases is to keep it maintained well! Follow those proper methods for mowing and watering, and keep your lawn fertilized.

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