I have a white fungus growing on my lawn. I brought in some blades of grass last year and the advice was that as the weather got hot, it would go away.

It did, but the grass turned yellow and almost died before it got better. I have it again this year, only it has spread to a larger area. Is there anything I can put on the lawn to prevent or kill this fungus?

— Cheryl

Sounds to me like you have a fungus called powdery mildew growing on your grass. The first thing to understand is that although powdery mildew is our most common foliar disease around here, it isn't all the same.

That is, the powdery mildew that affects your lawn is a different strain than the mildew that gets on roses, and that one is different from the one that gets on euonymus or the one that gets on lilac.

There is generally a very specific strain or race of mildew for each type of plant out there. Consequently, you don't have to worry about rose mildew spreading to adjacent plants, unless they're roses.

Powdery mildew is pretty much only a problem where the lawn is shaded and heavily watered. It's also worse if there isn't good air circulation in that area.

Most people who get powdery mildew on their lawn don't do anything about it. It can make the lawn look a bit scruffy and thin it out a bit, but it sounds like you are having a bigger problem.

Trying to dry that section of lawn out a bit should help. Obviously, you don't want to hurt the lawn by drying it out too much, but the drier it is, the less favorable the environment will be for the fungus.

In addition, I suggest applying a fungicide to help alleviate the problem. Your best bet is to use a product called Fertilome Systemic Fungicide.

You should spray it two or three times at 10-day intervals. This won't cure the problem forever — I'd bet it will come back, eventually — but it should help for awhile.

What type of fertilizer do you recommend for peach trees? I only have two of them.

— Wade

You're actually a bit late in the year to be fertilizing your fruit trees. You won't hurt anything if you do it soon, it just won't be of as much benefit as if you'd fertilized in late April.

I like to use slow-release granular fertilizers. If you want to do it now, just use the fertilizer at half the recommended rate. Doing it in the spring, I will do one to two times the recommended rate.

Dennis Hill is the nursery manager at Bookcliff Gardens, bookcliffgardens.com. Send questions to Bookcliff Gardens, 755 26 Road, Grand Junction 81506, or email info@bookcliffgardens.com.

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