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Can A Lawn Mower Spread Fungus? Find Out Here!

Written by Sheena
Last Updated on March 24, 2022

Can A Lawn Mower Spread Fungus?

Mowing your lawn is an essential part of keeping the grass healthy. 

Unfortunately, if you don't clean your lawnmower regularly, it can spread the fungus. 

Fungi are parasites that infect plants. They use the host plant as a place to reproduce.

They need a host plant to survive and an environment to thrive.

Plants and fungi are both natural elements of life.

Fungi are microscopic organisms that grow in the soil and produce spores.

Spores are tiny, invisible particles that are released by some living things.

These spores can travel long distances and infect other plants.

Fungi can cause diseases such as athlete's foot or ringworm.

Fungus needs moisture, sunlight, and warmth to grow.

Moisture is needed because fungi are living things and need water to survive.

Sunlight is needed because fungi use light energy to produce energy.

Warmth is needed because fungi need heat to reproduce.

The last element – the environment - is something that we can control.

How Does Lawn Fungus Spread?

Since fungus spores are microscopic organisms that are naturally occurring, they can be found everywhere in nature. That means many things can spread them. 

Contaminated lawns can infect other plants.

Walking over the grass can transport the spores. 

They can be carried by insects, birds, and other animals. Some fungi can even travel through the air. 

That said, lawnmowers that are used in more than one lawn can carry fungus spores as well. Lawn mowers can spread weeds too.

In fact, the fungus spreads easily from lawn mowers.

When you mow your lawn, grass clippings and leaves get stuck inside the mower. And those get stuck on the blades, wheels, and deck of the machine. 

Although you can't really see it, a green lawn can have microscopic fungal spores inside it. And by using the same mower for another lawn, you're unknowingly carrying fungi. 

What Fungus Do To Your Lawn

Lawn mowers spread fungus by spreading spores over the lawn.

The first sign of this is the discoloration of the grass. Next, brown, yellow, or white circles appear. Then orange, black, or grey spots appear on the blades of grass.

You can also notice slimy-looking areas appear. Finally, there could also be small web-like parts and orange, yellow, or rust-like powder on the grass.

Basically, fungi appear on your lawn and cause it to turn brown.

So, you should always take precautions to avoid spreading the fungus.

You should know how to prevent fungus from growing on your lawn mower and lawn.

How To Prevent and Treat Lawn Fungal Diseases

Maintaining a healthy environment.

Maintaining a healthy environment helps prevent them from spreading.

Mowing the lawn too often will cause the grass to grow back thicker and stronger than normal. This makes the grass more resistant to fungus. 

Cutting off the grass in smaller portions also helps reduce the risk of spreading the fungus.

When cutting the grass, do not use water or fertilize. Instead, use an insecticide spray to kill any insects that may be living on the grass. Fertilizing promotes fungal diseases. Over-fertilizing leads to weak plants. Slow-release fertilizers are better than quick-release fertilizers. 

Grass should be watered every other day, and this is enough to keep the grass healthy. You should water early in the morning to let the grass dry out during the day. Apply 1 inch of water per week. Deeply watering encourages strong roots and allows the water to soak into the soil. Excess water can cause lawn fungus.

A soil test can not only determine what nutrients you need to add to your lawn, but also whether or not there is any fungus present.

Aerate: Air circulation is important to prevent mold growth. Aerate your soil at least every year or two.

Top dress: Apply and rake in layers of rich, organic top dressing to improve the soil. This also helps combat disease, and increase drainage. 

Dethatch: remove thick buildups of thatchy grass to allow the soil to breathe.

Choose a grass type that suits your climate, soil, light conditions, and needs.

Certain lawn areas are prone to fungus disease due to conditions you can't change. For those, consider naturalizing them with groundcovers or flower beds that will be better suited to those conditions.

Organic treatment: Apply organic treatments -such as neem oil, compost tea, or a weak baking soda solution. They can help with small patches of fungus.

As a last resort, use organic fungicides that are effective in killing fungus. Use one that doesn't harm plants or animals and is safe for humans.

Removing fungus growth immediately

If you notice fungus growing on your lawn, it is important to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Fungus grows at the roots of the grass. You should remove it as soon as you notice it. Don't cut it off with your lawnmower. Put on a pair of gloves before removing the fungus. Pull it up by the base to avoid spraying spores everywhere.

Maintaining cleanliness

Cleaning your lawn mower after each use prevents the spreading of disease.

Use a hose or water sprayer to clean off your lawnmower's wheels, deck, blades, and other parts.

Don't let any debris accumulate on them.

Park your mower away from other people's lawns.

Prevention includes washing your hands, gloves, boots, and other garden care tools. They can also carry fungi spores. 

How To Properly Clean Your Lawn Mower

First, empty the fuel tank or run it out of gas. 

Next, disconnect the spark plug. 

Then, turn the lawnmower on its side. After that, spray the underside of the lawnmower with water and scrape off the gunk and grass clippings. Make sure to clean all over the mower.

Cleaning the lawnmower should be done when the tank is empty to avoid spillage. Also, when you turn your mower, make sure that the carburetor and the fuel tank are above.

Always follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions.

What Are the Most Common Fungi That Can Be Spread by a Lawn Mower?

There are many different kinds of fungi that lawn mowers can spread. Some of them are brown patch, pythium, leaf spot, dollar spot, and others. Different types of grass are susceptible to different kinds of fungus.

Common Lawn Fungal Diseases

There are many fungal diseases that can affect lawns. Most of them are fairly specialized. They target specific lawn types, at certain times of the year, under certain conditions (hot, humid weather).

Some of these fungi include brown patches, fusarium blight, dollar spot, etc.

Before treating your lawn, it is important to identify not only if your lawn actually has a fungal disease but also to identify the fungus itself. Different types of fungi require different treatments.

Knowing your grass type and recent weather conditions can help you narrow down. But, you might need help identifying exactly what's going on with your lawn.

Your local cooperative extension office is your best resource for identifying which diseases are most common around your area. You could also bring a small sample of the infected grass to a local garden center for help!

Antifungal treatments should be used as soon as possible to treat severe cases.

Conclusion

Fungi are microscopic organisms that grow on plants that can ruin your green grass.

But, you can prevent that by maintaining a proper environment and cleanliness and giving attention to your garden grass so you can treat it as soon as possible. 

And lawn mowers play a huge part in both the prevention and spread of fungus, so pay attention to how you use and care for your lawn mower. 

About the author
Written by Sheena
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