Are you looking for the best systemic or natural lawn fungicide? Read my reviews and my complete guide.
Throughout the year it can happen that the lawn is infected with some microorganisms that are harmful to plants, such as in the case of fungi. In situations like these, the turf tends to turn yellow in patches, which can have a more or less large diameter (from 10 to 70 cm approximately). While there are several fungal diseases that can attack grass, there are localized solutions that can prove to be lifesaving for plant health. I’m talking about fungicides, to be chosen carefully, because different types can be found online.
Systemic or natural lawn fungicides?
The first point to address is the type of fungicide you will use to fight the fungal diseases that attack the weed. There are essentially two solutions: natural products and systemic fungicides based on active ingredients such as tebuconazole or propiconazole. What are the key differences to know?
Before delving into them, you need to know one thing: not all mushrooms on the lawn are harmful. The so-called “bad mushrooms” are those parasites whose spores are activated by water or dew, after being carried by the winds. Furthermore, if the turf is well, the chances of engraftment for the spores are greatly reduced. Conversely, if it is not healthy, it creates a more favorable habitat for parasites.
1. Systemic fungicide
Systemic products are based on active ingredients and must be used with care, as they tend to destroy not only bad mushrooms, but also good ones. As for the active ingredients, the most widespread of all is propiconazole, but there are also other very effective alternatives, such as tebuconazole, diphenoconazole and metalaxyl. As they are biocides, you must carefully read the instructions before using them.
Specifically, they can be toxic to aquatic organisms, and obviously they must be kept away from mucous membranes and respiratory tracts. Consider that these are very powerful products, with a broad spectrum of action, and that they are very useful for fighting various plant diseases. I am talking to you, for example, about scab, but also about rust alternaria, monilia, fusarium fungus, pink lawn rot, red thread, downy mildew and powdery mildew.
As for the application, often these are powders to be diluted in water following the dosages indicated in the information booklet. This can be achieved by using, for example, a watering can, irrigation system or one shoulder pump, after mowing the lawn and possibly in the coolest hours of the day. There are also concentrated emulsifiable products, but the following does not change: they must be evenly distributed on the turf.
Systemic fungicides are absorbed through the cuticles, and tend to spread mainly in the underlying tissues. Depending on the potency of the lawn fungicide, these products could be partially or totally systemic. In the first case they will have a localized effect, moving from one side of the leaf to the other. In the second case, however, they will be able to move even away from the storage area.
Before going on, I would like to clarify a point about their degree of toxicity: in reality, systemic lawn fungicides are not particularly toxic, since they are considered to have a low environmental impact, but the main safety rules must still be followed. It means keeping animals and children away, avoiding any form of skin contact, and obviously not ingesting or breathing them.
Finally, know that fungicides, such as the one based on tebuconazole, can also be used as a preventive measure to avoid the onset of diseases.
2. Natural fungicide
Unlike broad-spectrum systemic fungicides, natural ones do not contain any active ingredients synthesized in the laboratory in their formula. These are in fact so-called “multi-microbial” preparations, as they contain microorganisms capable of “stealing” the space that bad mushrooms could conquer. In most cases these are harmless fungi such as trichoderma, one of the most effective antagonists. Also in this case we are often faced with products that can be diluted in water, obviously following the instructions regarding timing and dosages.
Usually, not being as potent as a systemic fungicide, these products require multiple applications “spread” in a certain amount of time (every 15 days for example). Secondly, it is often convenient to use them together with a radical biostimulant, in such a way as to enhance the health of the turf, so as to further reduce the risk that fungal diseases can recur. Clearly there are also more classic alternatives, or inorganic compounds such as sulfur, which must still be used very carefully.
Sulfur, in fact, becomes phytotoxic when it is very hot because it tends to burn the leaves and stems, so the usual rule applies: it must be passed only in the coolest hours, preferably in the early morning or during the evening hours. Secondly, the effectiveness of sulfur also depends on the degree of humidity present. Other traditional options are baking soda, which is effective due to its basic pH. By making the soil less acidic, it counteracts the formation of a habitat favorable to the development of fungi. The list also includes copper salts.
Even the famous Bordeaux mixture (based on copper) is included in the list of natural biocides, therefore it can be used in organic farming. Before proceeding, however, you need to know that even natural fungicides can be dangerous, especially for organisms that live in water, such as fish. For this reason, it is important to avoid using them if there are aquifers in the immediate vicinity.
Best lawn fungicides
1. Bottos Tryco Plus Natural Fungicide for Lawn 250 gr
Personally, I consider Bottos to be one of the best fungicides to treat lawn turf diseases. It is in fact specifically produced for this kind of treatment, and it is natural, therefore it can also be used in organic farming. Its strength is its formulation, since we are dealing with a multi-microbial preparation, which contains good mushrooms such as trichoderma. The technique is called “mycorrhiza”, and it involves the use of good mushrooms to strengthen the root system of plants.
This treatment, not surprisingly, allows you to strengthen the roots, to improve their ability to absorb nutrients, and to increase their resistance to fungal diseases. Not surprisingly, Bottos Tryco Plus is also excellent as a preventive treatment, and the (high) cost depends on this mix of advantages. The package includes only a 250 ml vial, but I repeat that for this kind of products it is the norm, due to their effectiveness, which goes far beyond the treatment against fungal diseases.
Its phytostimulating action makes it special, creating a sort of wall against bad mushrooms. As for the dosage, from 35 ml to 50 ml are used, to be diluted in 10 or 20 liters of water. In summary, a 250 ml bottle is enough for one treatment for 500 square meters of lawn, using about 40 or 50 liters of water. If, on the other hand, we talk about the frequency of use, the treatment should be applied once every 2 months.
Note: if you are interested, you can also find the 1 liter bottle online, which allows you to save on the purchase price. The functioning takes place as always through the antagonistic action of the good mushrooms against the bad ones.
With the Bottos Tryco you have to be patient, as it takes time to act, that is, to create the so-called good “microbial soup”. On the other hand, it is absolutely effective and the reputation of the manufacturer is authentic. How to use? Shake the bottle, take the correct dosage, dilute it in water, mix it and wait 30 minutes. At that point the fungicide is ready to be distributed with a foliar treatment, then with a normal knapsack pump.
2. Bordeaux Compound Sleeve 20 WG 500 gr
I decided to review a great classic, as far as the fight against fungi is concerned, that is a Bordeaux compound based on copper sulphate neutralized with hydrated lime. It is a traditional and very ancient solution: a biocide that appears in the list of natural products, but which must still be used with care, because it is very harmful to aquatic organisms and because it can cause serious irritation to the eyes.
It is nothing more than a wettable powder, with a spectrum of action wide, and allowed in organic farming. The package includes 2 packs of 500 grams of compound, and does not require a license, unlike the whole 1 kilogram pack. It is an excellent solution to combat fungal diseases that infest not only the lawn, but also crops, fruit trees and much more. It is a product with PFnPE authorization, is open for sale to the public and is not complex.
In fact, it is sufficient to mix the powder with water or other substances such as soluble sulfur, to obtain verdigris for the vines. Once prepared, all you have to do is spray it on the lawn using a common gardening pump. It is important that the treatment is done in a homogeneous way, taking care to wet all the areas affected by the fungi, and it is also useful as a preventive treatment.
3. Protect Garden Aliette Systemic WG 500 gr
Protect Garden is undoubtedly one of the most reliable companies in the sector, so much so that it has marketed a range of systemic fungicides capable of meeting any situation. Aliette is the most recommended for the treatment of lawns, conifers and grass in general, and I can assure you that it is very effective.
Secondly, it is a product that can also be used as a preventive treatment, which makes it doubly useful. What are its most interesting features? The package contains 500 grams of microgranules, and its composition includes all the best active ingredients to attack classes of fungi such as downy mildew and pythium. The application is foliar, therefore the granules must be dissolved in water obviously respecting the dosage reported in the information booklet.
Once dissolved, it can be sprayed on the lawn using the classic spray pump. Like any other foliar treatment, this systemic lawn fungicide is absorbed and then spreads to the other sections of the plant, as in the case of the roots (descendant). In my opinion, even if the price is not cheap, we are faced with one of the best products available online and usable without a license.
4. CHIMIBERG Hydro-Copper Biological Fungicide 500 gr
I state that this is not a product designed for the lawn, but it can also be very useful in this circumstance. The credit goes to its formulation able to fight a flood of fungal diseases, including downy mildew, and the package is 500 grams as usual. It is a biological fungicide, whose formula is essentially based on tribasic copper sulphate at 15.20% (193.04 grams per liter).
It is really great for agricultural use, even in organic farming, and for all gardening enthusiasts. Being copper is natural, but this does not mean that it is harmless: it is in fact lethal for all aquatic organisms and for animals in general, and must obviously be used carefully, respecting the guidelines in the instructions. These can be found in the foldout sheet that you can find by lifting the product label.
Although natural, the Hydro Copper Flow fungicide has a broad spectrum and is very effective, even against bacteriostatic activities. Also consider that, even in this case, you do not need a license to be able to order and use it.
How to use a lawn fungicide
1. Identify the responsible fungus
The best way would be to identify the fungus responsible for the infection, and act reflexively with a product specially designed for that kind of pathogen. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to understand what fungus it is, and in those cases systemic fungicides with a broad spectrum of action become in fact an obligatory solution. This is due to the fact that the remedies in question will indiscriminately attack the fungi.
2. Respect the recommended doses
When the doses are wrong and exaggerated, the risk is to create a high concentration of product which could then be toxic to the soil and harmful to the plants. For this reason, it is always advisable to follow the instructions given in the information booklet of the lawn fungicide with extreme care. Furthermore, it is good to follow the instructions also regarding the timing, since some products require short-term treatments (even after 15 days).
3. Mowing the lawn
It would be preferable to mow the lawn before passing on the fungicides, while still keeping the infested areas last. If you do the opposite, you risk infecting healthy areas with spores deposited on the blades of your lawnmower. Finally, after shaving the infested areas, always remember to clean the blades, so as to prevent the fungi from spreading.
4. Use of the product
As I have anticipated several times, in most cases we are faced with water-soluble powders, to be sprayed on the lawn in a uniform and homogeneous way. It is possible to do this thanks to the sprayer pumps, irrigation or watering cans, depending on the size and square footage of the area to be treated. Of course, as I have mentioned several times, it must be used away from pets such as cats and dogs, and from aquatic organisms such as fish, because it can be lethal to them.
5. Effect of fungicides
It is very difficult to calculate the effect of a systemic or natural fungicide, because it can depend on various factors. First of all from their spectrum of action which, as I explained to you, could be partial or total. Secondly, the health of the lawn, the spread of the infestation, the more or less uniform distribution of the product, the climate and the timeliness of your intervention have a great impact.
How to prevent lawn fungal diseases
1. Cutting the grass
Excessively low cuts are to be avoided, as they weaken the lawn stems, making them easily susceptible to fungal diseases. A similar argument applies to too frequent cuts, especially during dry periods such as the summer months. Furthermore, it is never advisable to mow the still wet lawn: in this case, in fact, both the spread of parasitic spores and their germination would be favored.
2. Water and humidity
Surely you already know that, to have a healthy lawn, it is always advisable to avoid excesses in terms of irrigation. The water must not be scarce or too abundant, and moreover it is never necessary to leave puddles and stagnations. This is due to the fact that an excessively humid environment (as also happens with our skin) facilitates the development of fungi. Finally, you have to follow the usual rule: the early hours of the morning are the best for watering the lawn.
3. Aerating and scarifying
It is advisable to aerate the lawn, to prevent the soil from compacting excessively. The lack of air, in fact, would create a very favorable situation for the proliferation of fungi. Likewise, it is important to scarify the lawn by removing the felt that accumulates on the surface, especially in the autumn months. What are the possible options?
If you want to learn more about this topic, I suggest you click on the links above to read my specific guides.
4. Other useful tips
Remember that a systemic or natural fungicide can also be used as a form of lawn prevention, precisely because it steals the vital space of the spores of bad mushrooms. Then there are other tips that I would like to give you, such as the following: avoid using nitrogen fertilizers in large quantities in seasons other than spring, and try to keep the soil pH around a value of 6, ideal for discouraging the proliferation of microorganisms fungal.