Serving Southwestern Pennsylvania Since 1981

Why Does My Lawn Look Orange in the Fall?

An orange-colored lawn usually means that your grass has rust disease. This lawn disease can appear in the fall during periods of time when little rain falls – which sounds just like September’s weather in the Pittsburgh area.

What Does Rust Disease Look Like?
Most of the grasses common to the western Pennsylvania area can be affected by rust disease. Because of its color, rust disease is easy to spot. It looks like your grass has become an orangish or yellowish-orange color, much like rust. It will gradually turn larger areas of your lawn yellow, orange, or brown. You may also notice that the disease’s spores come off on your shoes, and that there are some rust-like particles that have been tracked into your entryway or your home. You may also see that the spores are sticking to your pets’ fur.

As a spore, it’s particularly good at spreading through your lawn and can be carried through the air, water, footsteps, and even your lawnmower.

The environment for rust disease is prevalent in Pittsburgh. Lots of rain in the early part of summer, followed by sunny, dry days in the late summer and early fall can allow rust disease to take hold in your lawn. Compact soil that doesn’t allow water or nutrients, particularly nitrogen, to enter the ground is also a factor. Warm days during the fall and cool nights create dewy conditions that can also make your grass open to infection.

How Do I Control Rust Disease?
Rust disease can be prevented and controlled by having needed nutrients in your lawn and by using the proper cultural practices (such as when you water your lawn and how often you cut your grass). Mow your grass at 2 ½ inches and make sure that core aeration is performed to allow the right nutrients and enough water into your grass’ roots. Fertilization in the early fall will help deliver much-needed nitrogen to the ground, and if rainfall is scare, you can water lightly in the morning.

Call Superior Lawn Care to learn more about our lawn care maintenance program that’s developed to ensure your lawn remains green, lush, and disease-free. We service most of southwestern PA, including Pittsburgh, Indiana, Moon, Cranberry, Wexford, Penn Township, Upper St. Clair, and North Huntingdon.