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Rust in the Lawn

An orange or yellowish-orange powder on your lawn that leaves an orange residue on your shoes means your grass is infected with rust fungal disease.  But don’t fret, a change in the weather and proper care can usually keep this disease in check.

Newly seeded and lawns weakened by inadequate fertilization and drought are most susceptible. Excessive rain that depletes soil nitrogen can also lead to problems with rust.

A wide range of weather conditions favors this disease, increasing the risk to your lawn. Cool nights with heavy dew and frequent rains as well as warm, cloudy and humid weather followed by hot sunny days create a rust friendly environment.

Fortunately, as new lawns mature, the weather improves, and proper fertilization is followed the rust fades away. Just be patient and reseed any dead areas in spring or fall with a mix of disease resistant grass varieties.

A bit more information:  Apply the right type and amount of fertilizer at the proper time to limit the risk of disease. Regular fertilization with a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer like Milorganite promotes steady growth that’s more drought tolerant and resistant to disease. 

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