Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about garden plants. You will find concise information on general gardening techniques as well as plant selection and care. For detailed information on specific plant pests and problems refer to our Common Garden Pests and Problems page.

Do you have additional gardening questions? Please contact us. Here's how.

Horticulture Questions and Answers

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What leaf diseases affect lawns in this area?

Diseases on lawns produce many symptoms. The symptoms depend upon the weather patterns, the particular fungus involved and the variety of turf grass in your lawn. Turf varieties differ widely in their susceptibility to fungal diseases.

Today, there are many new grass varieties that are more resistant to diseases than were previously available. Additionally, many cultural practices can keep your lawn healthy and help prevent disease.

Practices such as proper watering amounts and timing, timing and amount of fertilizer, mowing heights and their frequency, and thatch, all can contribute to the incidence or lack of disease.

Each maintenance practice is different for cool-season and warm-season (zoysia grass) grasses. Consult the appropriate FAQ’s for answers to each specific maintenance practice depending on the type of turfgrass in your lawn.

Environmental conditions such as temperature, rainfall, light, and air currents can also contribute to the incidence or lack of a disease.

There are a number of fungal diseases that affect both cool-season and warm-season lawns.  See "Fungal Diseases of Lawns."

For the most common diseases found in cool-season lawns (turf type fescue) see:

          • Brown Patch of Cool-Season Lawns 
          • Dollar Spot 
          • Rust

For the most common disease found in warm-season lawns (zoysia grass) see: 

          • Large Brown Patch of Zoysia Lawns

Diagnosing lawn problems is often a job for a professional. If you need help, bring a sample along with the history of the problem to the Plant Doctor Desk in the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening. The staff and trained volunteers can assist in the diagnosis and control of the problem.