Independent Cambridgeshire lawn care services

Fusarium patch

What is Fusarium patch?

This disease is caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale (formally Fusarium nivale). It is one of the most damaging diseases of turf grasses and can be difficult to control. It is found most frequently during autumn, winter and early spring, but attacks can occur at any time of the year.

The disease is sometimes very noticeable after thaws of snow, when it is given the common name of snow mould.

Fusarium patch is particularly troublesome on annual meadow grass, but can also affect bents, fescues and perennial rye-grass.


What to look out for;

  • The disease is first noticed as small patches of yellowish, dying grass that later turn brown
  • Patches increase in size and may reach 30cm (12in) or more in diameter, often merging together so that large areas can be affected
  • During wet conditions a white or pinkish, cottony fungal growth may be noticed, particularly at the margins of the patch. This is not to be confused with another fungal disease called red thread, or with slime moulds in turf

Non-chemical control

  • Ensure that the lawn dries rapidly after dews or rainfall by improving the aeration and drainage. This can be done by a combination of scarifying, spiking and hollow- or solid tining
  • Improve general airflow over the lawn by pruning back overhanging trees or shrubs
  • Remove heavy dews in the morning with a switch (a long, pliable rod) or bamboo cane
  • Avoid high doses of nitrogen fertiliser in late summer or autumn – use a proprietary autumn lawn feed instead

Chemical control

A fungicide can be used all year round except during drought conditions or when the lawn is frozen. There is a risk of resistance occurring in the fungal population, therefore, the product should not be applied more than twice a year and is best used in conjunction with other control methods.

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