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Is your lawn a little ‘Rusty’?

A lawn infected with rust fungus

A closer view of grass blades showing rust pustules

Rust, a fungus of the Pucciniaceae family, is a lawn condition that stains the surface blades of the turfgrass plant making them appear similar to metal left out in the elements.

Rust is ugly on a lawn but is usually harmless to grass (or your lawn mower since it has nothing to do with the type of rust we are use to). However, it does work as a good indicator of your lawn’s current overall health and lawn care regimen as well as the current weather conditions since it (in most situations) does not appear on grass that is growing optimally, and in the right conditions.

Rust appears as tiny red-orange pustules on the surface of the grass blade, which can rub off and colour your shoes, pants and lawn tools. It spreads down the grass blade slowly, so it will only become noticeable when the grass is growing slowly due to stress, lack of water, low fertility, or a combination.  More often than not, we at LawnSavers see it appear on lawns that have not been mowed frequently enough.  Heavy night time dews, cooler temperatures and more frequent rains are largely responsible for allowing it to flourish.

Getting rid of rust is simple – just get the grass growing vigorously again.

  1. Have a professional fertilization done that has a healthy amount of high quality  slow release nitrogen – all of LawnSaver’s customers on lawn care packages receive regular fertilization. Winterization treatments are also a big help. LawnSavers Custom blend of fertilizer contains the right mix of nutrients for our areas unique needs. From time to time, lawns may require additional nitrogen, if they are receiving too much water or have poorer soils supporting them.
  2. Water deeply, early in the morning – lawns need 1.5 to 2 inches of water every week. Proper lawn watering focusing on morning watering prevents the lingering dampness which fungus loves which is more often encouraged with evening watering. The trick is longer duration, less often. Once or twice a week is enough.
  3. Most importantly, mow frequently (every 5 – 7 days), and bag the clippings if they are longer than one inch – removing the infected tops of the grass will stop it from spreading. Be sure to sharpen your blade at least twice a year to ensure a clean cut, rather than a ragged edge that attracts infection.

Rust will runs it’s course eventually.  But if you make the changes to mowing and watering, you will develop the right habits to ensure a greener and healthier lawn for the long term!

You can learn more about common lawn fungi here.

Lawn Rust fungal disease on grass blades

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  • Managing within ever-changing Covid Restrictions -Covid Update: (updated 01/01/22)

    Hi Everyone, 

    LawnSavers managed to persevere through this last pandemic year with the loyal partnership of our clients, and we are extremely grateful to our loyal customers.

    We are still able and authorized to service lawns and perform pest control services in all our GTA service areas as an essential service.

    Our office remains open in addition to some remote staff.   Please note with many people working from home, our service is experiencing a higher demand and volume of calls.
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        Please be patient with us, we will get back to you as fast as we can and do
    our very best to help you.

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    2021 is now behind us.  Together with our customers, we face Covid-19 head-on as a community-minded local small family business and are extremely grateful to be able to survive and keep all of our loyal employees working hard with us through it all.

    2020-21 important turf and tree high (and low) lights:

      • Nine days of snow, ice and wintry weather in May 2020
        2021 was the driest April May and June in 51 years See Actual GTA daily weather records by clicking here.
      • One of the hottest driest summers on record in 2020 with long spells of grass-killing heat and drought. Read more here in our 2020 summary blog.
        2021 carried on this trend with only a few days of rain in July and August, with extreme dryness and heat.
      • A bumper crop of crabgrass that germinated in the perfect (rainless) storm. As expected, even more arrived this past summer in 2021!
      • Chinch Bug numbers in 2020 were record breaking and persisted through the dry heat they love, secretly killing lawns while dormant! We can help with Chinch bug damage  Expect even more this summer!
      • Fall of 2021 provided excellent conditions for lawn that were treated through the summer with our recovery amendments to bounce back and regain their vigour. (thanks for the compliments!)
    • We put together an easy to read lawn care service timeline that you can use to know when to expect us for each scheduled service in your package. 

    Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our employees and customers.  Safety, Integrity and honesty are our most important core values.  We will continue to follow strict safety guidelines that ensure “low/no touch”.  We will not let our guard down on exercising our safety protocols!

    Thank you all for your understanding and extra patience during these challenging times. Our team works hard, so if you are met with our exceptional service from our technicians or office team members- please give them a thumbs up to make them smile or let me know through a quick email to feedback@lawnsavers.com

    We thank you for supporting our local, family-owned business of 31 years.
    We
     genuinely appreciate you and promise that we will do our part to ensure our mutual safety.

    Thank you in advance,
    Kyle Tobin
    Chief Environmental Officer