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Top 5 Common Lawn Diseases in Middle TN and How Disease Control Services Can Help

Maintaining a lush, healthy lawn in Middle Tennessee can sometimes feel like a never-ending battle against Mother Nature. From the scorching summer sun to the unpredictable spring downpours, our green spaces are constantly exposed to a multitude of stressors. But it’s not just the weather we have to worry about—it’s also the array of common lawn diseases that can tarnish your turf in the blink of an eye. 

With that in mind, this article delves into the top five lawn diseases that plague Middle TN and explores how professional disease control services can provide the antidote. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or an eager newbie, understanding these diseases and knowing how to combat them can help keep your lawn looking its best all year round. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dig into the nitty-gritty of lawn disease control.

Understanding the Top Five Prevalent Lawn Diseases in Middle Tennessee

1. Brown Patch Disease

Brown patch disease, caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, is one of the most common and damaging lawn diseases in Middle Tennessee. It primarily affects cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, but warm-season grasses can also be susceptible to this disease. Brown patch disease typically presents during periods of high humidity and warm temperatures, generally in the summer months.


Brown patches appear as circular, brown, and sunken patches on the grass, ranging from a few inches to several feet in diameter. The affected grass may be surrounded by a ring of darker and more rapidly growing grass, creating a “smoke ring” effect.

Treatment and Prevention

Proper lawn care practices are essential for preventing and managing brown patch disease, as they help create an environment that is less conducive to fungal growth. Measures to minimize the risk of this disease include:

  • Mowing regularly at the recommended height for your grass type.
  • Watering deeply and infrequently, ideally in the early morning, to allow the grass to dry before nighttime.
  • Aerating the soil to improve drainage and reduce soil compaction.
  • Ensuring proper fertilization and avoiding excessive nitrogen, which can promote fungal growth.

If the disease persists despite implementing these practices, Pure Green’s disease control services can provide targeted treatments to address the issue and help restore your lawn to its full health.

2. Red Thread Disease

Red thread disease is caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis and mainly affects cool-season grasses, such as fine fescues, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. This disease is common in Middle Tennessee, especially during the spring and fall, when temperatures are cool, and the lawn is in the active growth stage.


Red thread disease is characterized by reddish or pink fungal strands (resembling needles or threads) that can be seen extending from the tips of grass blades. The affected area may appear irregularly shaped, with patches of dead or dying grass.

Treatment and Prevention

To prevent and control red thread disease, proper lawn care practices, such as balanced fertilization and adequate water management, are essential. The following additional strategies can help combat this disease:

  • Ensuring proper mowing height and frequency to promote a healthy turf.
  • Removing infected grass clippings from the lawn to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Applying a balanced fertilizer, which provides adequate nitrogen to boost grass health and resilience.

If red thread disease continues to be a problem despite employing these techniques, Pure Green’s disease control services can help diagnose and treat the issue effectively, ensuring your lawn’s long-term health.

3. Dollar Spot Disease

Dollar spot disease is a fungal disease caused by the pathogen Sclerotinia homoeocarpa. This lawn disease is commonly found in Middle Tennessee and afflicts both cool-season and warm-season grasses. Dollar spot appears most frequently during periods of cool, wet weather or when lawns are stressed by drought or lack of nutrients.


Dollar spot is characterized by small, round, and straw-colored patches on the grass, typically ranging from one to several inches in diameter. The affected grass blades may exhibit white lesions with a reddish-brown border, which can merge and lead to the death of the blade.

Treatment and Prevention

Prevention and management of dollar spot disease rely on maintaining healthy lawn care practices, such as proper irrigation, mowing, and fertilization. Key steps to take include:

  • Providing a balanced fertilizer to promote overall lawn health and resistance to disease.
  • Watering deeply and infrequently, to encourage a healthy root system and reduce the risk of fungal growth.
  • Mowing at the correct height for your grass type and keeping mower blades sharp to reduce stress on the grass.

Should dollar spot disease persist after implementing these preventive measures, Pure Green’s disease control services can effectively diagnose and treat the issue, helping your lawn regain its health and vibrancy.

4. Pythium Blight

Pythium blight, also known as cottony blight or grease spot, is a destructive lawn disease caused by the fungus Pythium spp. This disease is particularly prevalent in Middle Tennessee and affects a variety of grasses, including cool-season and warm-season grasses, such as tall fescue, annual bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Pythium blight thrives in wet, warm conditions, especially during hot, humid summer nights.


Pythium blight manifests as small, water-soaked spots on grass blades initially and then progresses to larger, irregularly-shaped patches of gray, brown, or black grass. When humidity is high, the grass may appear slimy and matted together, resembling a cottony texture.

Treatment and Prevention

Proper lawn care practices are crucial for preventing and managing pythium blight, as they help create a less favorable environment for the fungus. Key strategies include:

  • Enhancing drainage and addressing any areas where water pools or collects on the lawn.
  • Avoiding overwatering and watering in the early morning to allow grass to dry before nighttime.
  • Reducing fertilizer inputs, as excess nitrogen can encourage the development of Pythium blight.

If you continue to struggle with pythium blight despite implementing these best practices, Pure Green’s disease control services can provide targeted treatment solutions and expert guidance to help you address the problem and restore your lawn’s health.

5. Leaf Spot and Melting Out Disease

Leaf spot and melting out is a disease caused by several fungi belonging to the Bipolaris, Drechslera, and Exserohilum genera. This lawn disease typically affects cool-season grasses in Middle Tennessee, including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescues. Leaf spot diseases are most prevalent during periods of wet and cloudy weather, while melting out occurs primarily during the spring and fall when temperatures are cool.


Leaf spot symptoms include small, purple to black spots on the grass blades, which may expand and cause the tips of the leaves to turn yellow and die. In severe cases, melting out can occur, leading to the thinning or killing of large areas of the turf. 

Melting out is characterized by dark brown or purple-black lesions on the sheaths and crowns of the grass plants. This damage results in weakened grass plants, causing the affected areas to appear thin and sparse.

Treatment and Prevention

Maintaining proper lawn care practices is crucial for preventing and controlling leaf spot and melting out disease. Key steps to take include:

  • Ensuring adequate water management to avoid excessive moisture on the grass surface. Watering deeply and infrequently, preferably in the early morning, can help achieve this goal.
  • Applying balanced fertilization to promote overall grass health and prevent excessive thatch accumulation.
  • Mowing at the recommended height for your grass type, as mowing too short can weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to disease.

If leaf spot and melting out disease persist despite implementing these preventive measures, Pure Green’s disease control services can provide effective treatment solutions and expert guidance to help address the issue and restore your lawn’s health and beauty.

Effective Lawn Disease Control Services from Pure Green

Understanding the common lawn diseases that affect Middle Tennessee is important for maintaining a healthy and vibrant outdoor environment. By partnering with a reputable and experienced service provider like Pure Green, you can confidently address and prevent these diseases, ensuring your lawn remains resilient, attractive, and functional throughout the year. Here’s what to expect when you enlist Pure Green’s disease control services:

1. Customized Evaluation and Treatment Plans

Pure Green’s team of experts will conduct a thorough evaluation of your lawn, identifying any diseases that may be affecting your turf. Based on this assessment, they will develop a customized treatment plan to combat these diseases efficiently and effectively.

2. Environmentally Friendly Practices

Pure Green is committed to using environmentally friendly products and innovative, sustainable practices for disease control. By prioritizing eco-conscious solutions, you can trust that the services provided are not just effective but also responsible, protecting the environment and the well-being of your family.

3. Ongoing Monitoring

An integral part of Pure Green’s disease control services is ongoing monitoring of your lawn’s health. Their experts will track the progress of treatment interventions, making adjustments as needed to ensure your turf stays healthy and thriving.

4. Expert Knowledge and Support

With Pure Green’s disease control services, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and support. The team will answer any questions you may have and provide helpful tips for ongoing lawn care and best practices to minimize the risk of lawn disease recurrence.

5. Integrated Pest Management Approach

One of the reasons Pure Green’s disease control services are so effective is their use of integrated pest management (IPM) principles. IPM is an eco-friendly and sustainable approach to managing pests and diseases by combining biological, cultural, and chemical control methods. This holistic approach offers several benefits, including:

  • Reduction in pesticide use: IPM aims to minimize the use of chemical controls, protecting the environment and minimizing the risk of pesticide resistance.
  • Long-term sustainability: IPM focuses on addressing the causes of pest and disease problems, ensuring lasting solutions and the overall health of your lawn.
  • Enhanced plant health: By maintaining a more natural, balanced ecosystem, IPM promotes stronger, more resilient, and healthier plants.

The Importance of Proper Lawn Care

Regular and proper lawn care is an essential aspect of preventing and controlling lawn diseases in Middle Tennessee. Ensuring good soil health, proper mowing and watering practices, and adequate fertilization can significantly reduce the risk of disease occurrence. By observing these lawn care practices and recognizing the signs of lawn diseases, you can act swiftly to protect your landscape from damage.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy lawn, partnership with a trusted and reputable service provider like Pure Green is invaluable. By combining expert knowledge, customized solutions, and an eco-friendly approach, you can rest assured that your lawn remains disease-free while maintaining its overall health, beauty, and resilience. 

So, as you navigate the complexities of lawn diseases in Middle Tennessee, remember that professional help and guidance are always available to support your journey to a lush and vibrant outdoor space.

The Importance of Soil Testing

Soil testing plays a significant role in lawn care and disease prevention. By assessing the nutrient content, pH levels, and overall soil health, homeowners can better understand their lawn’s needs and make informed decisions regarding fertilization, watering, and other lawn care practices.

How Soil Testing Relates to Lawn Disease

Lawn diseases are often directly or indirectly influenced by soil conditions. Poor soil quality can result in weakened, stressed grass, making it more susceptible to disease. Conversely, well-balanced and healthy soil can promote strong root systems, helping grass withstand disease pressures.

Soil testing can help homeowners identify potential issues, such as nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, which may contribute to lawn disease problems. For example, excess nitrogen can encourage the growth of certain fungi, while low potassium levels can leave grass vulnerable to disease. By addressing these issues, homeowners can create a healthier environment for their turf, reducing the risk of disease outbreak.

Steps to Conduct Soil Testing

Soil testing is an essential practice for monitoring and maintaining lawn health. Follow these steps to conduct a soil test:

1. Obtain a soil test kit from a reputable source, such as your local county extension office or a garden center. These kits typically include sample containers, instructions, and submission forms.

2. Use a clean, stainless-steel trowel or soil probe to collect samples from several locations around your lawn. Aim to collect samples from a depth of 3 to 4 inches in the root zone of the grass.

3. Mix the soil samples in a clean bucket, breaking up any clumps and removing debris, such as rocks or grass.

4. Place the mixed soil in the sample container provided in the kit and complete the required submission form with pertinent information about your lawn.

5. Send the sample and form to the designated laboratory for analysis, following the kit’s instructions. Most labs will typically provide results within a few weeks.

Soil Test Interpretation and Recommendations

Once you receive the soil test results, you will have valuable information about your lawn’s nutrient levels, pH, and overall soil health. Based on these results, you can make informed decisions about fertilizer requirements, lime or sulfur applications for pH adjustment, and other soil amendments to promote a healthy, disease-resistant lawn.

Pure Green’s lawn care experts can help you understand and interpret your soil test results, providing tailored recommendations for your specific lawn conditions. With the proper guidance and support, you can successfully manage your soil and prevent lawn diseases.

Seasonal Lawn Care Practices

A proactive approach to lawn care is crucial for maintaining a healthy turf that is resistant to diseases. By following seasonal lawn care practices, you can ensure your lawn remains in optimal condition throughout the year.


During spring, focus on revitalizing your lawn after winter dormancy. Key spring lawn care practices include:

  • Raking and removing any winter debris, such as leaves and fallen branches.
  • Aerating the soil to relieve compaction and improve air circulation, water penetration, and nutrient absorption.
  • Overseeding thin or damaged areas to promote a thick, healthy turf.
  • Fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer to support the active growth phase.
  • Watering deeply and infrequently to promote a healthy root system.
  • Mowing at the appropriate height for your grass type, gradually reducing it to the recommended summer height.


With potentially high temperatures and potential drought conditions, summer lawn care practices aim to provide adequate moisture and nutrients while minimizing stress. Key summer lawn care practices include:

  • Regularly mowing at the recommended height for your grass type to conserve moisture and reduce stress on the grass.
  • Watering deeply and infrequently in the early morning to minimize water evaporation and encourage deep root growth.
  • Applying a slow-release fertilizer to provide consistent nutrients throughout the summer months.
  • Monitoring for pests and diseases and taking appropriate action if necessary, such as adjusting watering practices or seeking professional assistance from Pure Green.


Fall is an important time to prepare your lawn for winter dormancy and ensure a strong, healthy turf in the following spring. Key fall lawn care practices include:

  • Raking and removing fallen leaves to prevent smothering and fungal growth.
  • Fertilizing with a high-potassium, slow-release fertilizer to promote root growth and winter hardiness.
  • Aerating and overseeding to fill in any thin or damaged areas and improve overall lawn health.
  • Gradually raising the mowing height to the appropriate winter height for your grass type, to enhance winter hardiness.

Lawn Renovation for Disease-Damaged Lawns

In cases where lawn diseases have caused extensive damage, lawn renovation may be necessary to restore the turf’s health and vibrancy. Lawn renovation involves removing the diseased grass and re-establishing the lawn with disease-resistant grass varieties.

Pure Green’s experts can evaluate your lawn’s condition, recommend the best course of action, and guide you through the process of lawn renovation. By choosing to work with professionals, you can ensure your lawn’s long-term health, resilience, and overall appeal.

Monitoring Weather Patterns

Weather conditions have a significant impact on lawn disease development and spread. Prolonged periods of rainfall, frequent cloud cover, high humidity, or extreme temperatures can create an environment conducive to the growth and spread of pathogens, increasing the risk of disease.

By monitoring local weather patterns and adjusting your lawn care practices accordingly, you can minimize the likelihood of lawn diseases taking hold. For instance, during times of high humidity or rainfall, avoid overwatering or applying fertilizer high in nitrogen, which can exacerbate fungal growth.

With a careful and proactive approach, you can create a more disease-resistant lawn that remains vibrant and healthy throughout the seasons.

Achieving a Healthy and Thriving Lawn Year-Round

In short, while these common lawn diseases can be a major nuisance, they’re not unbeatable. With the help of professional disease control services, you can protect your lawn from these threats and maintain its lush, green appearance. So, don’t let your lawn become a casualty of these common diseases. Act now and let the professionals help you safeguard your lawn’s health and beauty.

Pure Green’s dedication to environmentally friendly and sustainable practices further ensures that your lawn remains vibrant and resilient, while also promoting a healthier ecosystem for your family and community. The combination of regular lawn care, soil testing, seasonal practices, and monitoring weather patterns can dramatically reduce the risk of lawn diseases, ensuring a thriving outdoor space that enhances the beauty and value of your property.

Don’t let lawn diseases threaten the health and appearance of your lawn. Contact Pure Green today for a customized evaluation and tree healthcare treatment plan, and let our team of experts help you create a lush, disease-free oasis for your family to enjoy for years to come.

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