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Controlling an Attack of Rust Disease on your Lawn

Rust on LawnWe are now in the late summer months and will soon be in autumn and that time of year when you go outside and shrug your shoulders at the dropping night time temperatures.

Not suggesting that the summer is over as the weather might be unseasonably warmer this weekend after a lot of rain. 

The last time I thought about treating Rust was on my old Mini Metro that was rather prone to it on the front panels - well it was almost a 100 rust bucket to be honest!  Glad to see that car construction has moved on a bit since the early 80's.

Now we bet you were not aware of the fact that your lawn can suffer from an outbreak of Rust?

Rust infected turf appears generally yellow/orange. Close examination reveals the leaves with orange fungal pustules which, when touched, disperse large numbers of uredospores. These are very similar in appearance to the rust dust, which can be wiped from rusty metal, hence the name.

When is it normally seen on lawns?  During cool weather in the summer and autumn. Initial symptoms show as yellow flecks on the leaves and plant stems. These flecks enlarge and the fungal spores develop on the leaf surface.

This disease does not usually cause serious problems on U.K. turf and the problem is more of a visual one although left un treated the small areas can merge to become large unsightly areas. This picture shows a close up of the rusty spots on the upper surface of the grass plant leaf. The rusty dust can literally come off on your finger as you gently pass it through your thumb and forefinger. When you walk through a rust infected area of turf your shoes can turn orange!

The best option is to keep your lawn mown over the autumn and winter months if conditions allow and apply an autumn and winter lawn fertiliser or a spring and summer at a reduced application rate.


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