Who notices lawn in winter?!
My helper and I were out doing a few last things in the
yard this week, on a really nice day, probably 40 degrees, no snow
on the ground
At one point we both noticed the neighbor's grass, in
the narrow strip between our two homes where there's no line except
where we each stop mowing. The lawn there looks almost like there
was a bit of snow there or like someone sprayed over the top of it
with paint, as some of the blades are white. Whatever is going on,
it looks like it's moving into our yard. Is it something to be
It was great to be out doing things, like you said about
going out and looking around even in winter. However, we wish we'd
little pansies like you did, not problems! - N. -
A better look.
That may be powdery mildew. We, too have seen this fungus revel
in a mild fall.
However, although mildew can cause trouble in a lawn, unless the
lawn's weak for other reasons it won't be a major problem.
Your lawn may be weak on several levels. Grass between homes is
often shaded by the buildings most of the day. There may also be so
much foot traffic that the soil becomes packed down and the plants
languish because their roots don't get much air. Low light and
packed-down soil are two strikes against a lawn
Count a third strike if the lawn includes mildew-prone bluegrass
cultivars 'Merion,' 'Baron,' 'Cheri,' 'Kenblue' and others.
What you can do is strengthen the lawn, starting in
spring. Shore up its overall vigor and introduce some improved
seed. Then, if it should lose some foliage each year when wet,
cloudy, cool conditions favor fungus growth, it will be able to
fill back in during drier, warmer, sunnier, periods.
More on powdery mildew from University of Rhode
Good advice from University of Illinois
And there's more in our collection, Asking About Asters.
If you have this collection on CD or in its original book form,
find it under "mildew" in the index. (This material will eventually
be here on our website. Since it's already been made available and
we have a lot more to post that hasn't been "out there", the CD's
components are last in line.)