Combatting Lawn Disease with Healthy Plus Lawn Food

Introducing Scotts® Turf Builder® Healthy Plus Lawn Food, the 2-in-1 Fungicide and Fertilizer Your Lawn Needs

Identify Diseases in Your Lawn

Brown or dead patches in your lawn, discolored spots on leaf blades, powdery or fluffy substances in the grass — all these can be signs of a serious problem. If left alone, diseases can take over your grass, leaving you with patchy, spotty, and even dead lawn. 

In order for disease to take over, three things need to be present: the pathogen, usually a type of fungus, an unsuspecting patch of grass, and favorable conditions. The types of grass affected and conditions needed for lawn fungus to thrive vary by disease. Many fungi prefer moist, wet, or humid conditions, but there are some that thrive in drier air. Other conditions that invite disease are poor soil health, bad air flow, and shady spots. Stressful conditions, like dry spells for normally wet regions or cold for warm-season grasses, can also provide an ideal environment for disease.

Unfortunately for your grass, most lawn diseases don’t just go away on their own. Instead, these fungi prefer to spread and take over your lawn, and the damage left behind can be severe. Here’s a closer look at a few common lawn diseases along with their early warning signs and how they affect your lawn:


Grasses typically affected: Poa Annua, Bentgrass, can affect Warm-Season Grasses

Anthracnose needs moist conditions to thrive, but really goes to work once temperatures warm up between mid-Spring and Summer. This foliar (leaf) disease affects the base of grass blades. At a distance, you’ll see brown or rust-colored patches of grass ring ringed in yellow edges. But the tell-tale sign of anthracnose is dark coloration at the root of the grass. If you look really close, you’ll see tiny, hairy black spots. These are the spores that can spread this grass fungus all over your yard. Once anthracnose takes off, the dead patches grow and cause a patchy look in lawns.

Leaf Spot

Grasses typically affected: Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, Bentgrass, Poa Annua, Colonial Bentgrass

There are many kinds of leaf spot diseases, but most occur during wet weather. They can impact different grasses at different temperatures, but often show up in warmer temperatures from spring through the end of summer or even beginning of fall. Like the name suggests, little brown or yellow spots begin to appear on grass blades and eventually turn the whole blade yellow or brown. From there, leaf spot spreads to impact surrounding grass blades until your lawn is patchy or covered in dead spots.

Powdery Mildew

Grasses typically affected: Affects most grasses

Powdery mildew favors poor air circulation, humidity, shady spots, and cool temperatures. This disease is most common during the spring or fall. A powdery or fluffy white substance covers the top side of infected grass blades. When conditions become favorable, this fungus can work fast to create large white or light gray patches in your lawn. Eventually, powdery mildew causes grass to turn yellow and thin out. One nice thing about powdery mildew is that it does not affect roots, just grass blades, so the overall damage tends to be less severe than other diseases.

Pythium Blight

Grasses typically affected: Perennial Ryegrass, Creeping Bentgrass, Poa Annua, Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, Bermudagrass

Pythium Blight prefers warm, wet conditions from spring through summer. It starts as greasy or wet spots in the lawn that can quickly turn yellow and die. Sometimes, you’ll notice white or light gray cottony spores. Pythium Blight may appear in lines that follow mowing or waterway patterns since it uses mowing equipment and drainage to spread. This fungus can act very fast to kill grass, sometimes within a few hours, and spreads quickly to create large brown patches in your lawn.

For more information on other diseases including snow mold, red thread, and brown patch, read our How to Diagnose and Identify Lawn Problems article.

Scotts® Healthy to the Rescue

Now that you know a little about lawn diseases, your question might be How do I get rid of fungus in my lawn?

The good news is that regular lawn maintenance helps when it comes to preventing and treating disease. Regular watering, mowing, and feeding, as well as adjusting when conditions change, can help lawns recover. The best defense against diseases (and weeds and other lawn problems, for that matter) is thick, healthy turf.

But sometimes, the conditions that diseases love get ahead of you. Or maybe you’ve had disease problems in the past and want to avoid it altogether. Scotts® has you covered with Scotts® Turf Builder® Healthy Plus Lawn Food. This revolutionary 2-in-1 fungicide and fertilizer not only prevents and controls 27 listed disease types, but feeds your lawn so it can grow deep roots that help it recover from stresses. In addition, it provides deep greening for thicker grass. With Healthy Plus Lawn Food, you’re not only fighting diseases to get your lawn healthy; you’re feeding and greening your lawn so it can stay healthy. 

Because of its fighting and feeding action, Healthy Plus Lawn Food simplifies your lawn care routine, giving you everything you need in one product. Great for most grass types and seasons, this lawn care product starts working against disease in just 24 hours and provides up to 4 weeks of protection. It’s the ultimate assistant in helping you build a better lawn.

Using Healthy Plus in Your Lawn

Once your grass is actively growing, be on the lookout for conditions that favor disease, and also for signs of the diseases themselves. It’s best to use Healthy Plus Lawn Food to prevent disease when conditions are ideal for disease growth and spread, but it will help control diseases after the first symptoms appear. You can also use this fungicide with fertilizer when the weather or other factors have been stressing out your lawn.

Using a Scotts® spreader makes application easy and even. The Scotts® Wizz™ Spreader is a great choice for smaller lawns, and those with larger lawns will appreciate the Scotts® Elite Spreader. If the forecast shows rain in the next 24 hours, hold off until the rain leaves. After application, water the lawn for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to sweep any runoff product back onto the lawn. The final step: sit back and relax.

You can repeat applications of Healthy Plus Lawn Food after 4 weeks (28 days), and make no more than 4 applications per year. For warm season grasses, including zoysiagrass, bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, and bahiagrass, don’t use Healthy Plus Lawn Food later than one month prior to the first expected frost. In other words, if the first frost in your area is typically on November 1st, the last day to apply would be October 1st.

With Scotts® Turf Builder® Healthy Plus Lawn Food, there’s no need to fear grass fungus and disease, or to watch helplessly as your yard gets overtaken. Make Healthy Plus Lawn Food part of your lawn care routine for a thicker, greener, and healthier lawn.