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Seeing red... or was it pink?

Fusarium Disease Just to prove that the other man's grass isn't always greener, lawns throughout the country are turning pink reports the Daily Mail this week. Yes, you read correctly - pink.

The harsh winter has led to the worst outbreak of snow mould for more than 20 years.

The fungal disease exists on many lawns without usually causing any problems. But when under a blanket of snow, it starts to thrive. Patches of grass rapidly die, then when the snow melts the characteristic candy-floss pink or grey blotches come to light.

Last month was the coldest January in Britain for 20 years, and February hasn't been a lot better. Britain's biggest lawn care company, GreenThumb, says the combination of snow and lack of wind have made this year's outbreaks of Fusarium nivale the worst in the firm's 25-year history.

Read more on this seasonal lawn problem

The Telegraph also ocovered the press release.

Many a professional turf manager will dread a covering of snow over their hallowed turf as they will be more than aware that a covering of snow will incubate the fungal spores causing the disease. Our picture demonstrates how bad an attack of Fusarium Disease can be and new lawns will not escape the disease. Applications of fungicides in the cold non growing season do not really offer a long term solution to the problem but will retain the disease for a few weeks.

The best solution is to apply a systemic fungicide when you have some growth which will be absorbed by the grass plants and attack the disease from inside out providing a long term approach. The problem there is when the grass is mown on a more regular basis, the benefit of a systemic fungicide is literally 'cut off' so re-application is recommended.

Careful use of high nitrogenous fertiliser is important and a spoon feed application of Sulphate of Iron will harden the grass up to ward off Fusarium Disease and also provide some vital colour when the turf would be otherwise be looking a bit sorry for itself. The use of Sulphate of Iron is an all round winner where turf is concerned.

You can download a lawn technical leaflet telling you all about Fusarium Disease identification, symptoms, prevention and cure.

Related subjects -

Lawn Fertiliser

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