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Can Lawn Diseases Be Transferred by a Lawn Service?

By Robert Cox, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Horticulture

It is theoretically possible for the equipment of a lawn service to "move" lawn diseases from one client to another. However, disease-causing fungi and spores can be found in most Colorado lawns, healthy or not.

For diseases to become established and visible symptoms to develop, the lawn must be under stress from conditions such as poor soil aeration, poor drainage, over- or under-watering, over-fertilization or mowing too short. In addition, dull mower blades shred grass blades, allowing easy entry of pathogens.

Plant disease development requires a) the disease organism b) susceptible plants and c) an environment promoting the disease organism. The only one of these we have much control over is c). Promote healthy turfgrass with proper cultural techniques, including proper watering, fertilization, mowing and aeration.

Photo: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010