In Sydney, February and March are generally humid and wet months.
While most plants and lawns will thrive with a bit of this muggy humidity, sometimes it’s a little much, and can result in fungal problems. Some plants are more affected than others like turf and edibles.
Fungal issues in lawns usually manifest as little blacks spots. They appear on the grass blades and cause them to die back. This will progressively get worse until areas die and bare patches start to appear.
If it is left too late your lawn will deteriorate, and not return to a healthy state until the growing season in late September or October. This will make for a patchy, unattractive winter lawn with little to be done but wait for the flush of new growth.
To help prevent this from happening, try to water your lawn in the morning rather than the evening. This gives excess water a better chance of evaporating, rather than sitting on the grass through the night. You should also ensure that your lawn is receiving as much sun as possible by cutting away any low branches from overhanging trees or shrubs.
If you’re already spying black spots on your grass, treat the problem by spraying a fungicide like Mancozeb. You’ll need to follow up with a second spray a week later to ensure you catch it all. Follow this with a light fertilise with a hose on lawn food like Seasol for Lush Green Lawns to help it recover in the remaining growing period.
Some lawn types are more resistant to fungus than others. If you’re thinking of laying or returfing, choosing a variety like Kakadu Buffalo with a high disease resistance can significantly reduce the level of maintenance your lawn will require throughout the year.
Fungus attacks in the veggie patch means you will start to notice small powdery white patches on the leaves of crops like zucchinis and pumpkins. This is caused by powdery mildew - another nasty fungus.
As you’ll want to be harvesting and eating your veggies shortly, choose a totally organic based product like Eco Fungicide. Not only is it safe to use on your edibles, but it’s also safe for beneficial insects in your garden like aphid munching lady beetles.
If left untreated, powdery mildew will spread and your plant won’t produce further crops.
A small amount of snail bait scattered around is also beneficial - it’s not only fungus that likes the humid weather! Make sure you choose a pet and wildlife safe variety like Multiguard Snail & Slug Pellets.
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