Landscaping & Yard Care

What’s that Orange Stuff on my Lawn?

A lot of people have been wondering about the orange powder that’s getting all over their feet and shoes when they walk across their own lawn. It’s called rust and it’s a turf grass fungus that forms on lawns when the temperatures are warm and the air is humid. It’s much worse if you water your lawn at night, or if you get a lot of rainfall.

It’s a catch 22 situation because we are told to raise our lawn mowers to the highest setting during the hot summer months to keep our lawns from burning out. But when we leave our grass that long, it doesn’t dry as quickly as it should, and the lawn stays a lot more humid than it should be which isn’t healthy.

Early morning watering is best, but we can’t control rainfall. So, when it rains at night and when it’s hot and humid, fungal lawn pests appear.

Rust appears during hot and humid conditions. As soon as temperatures drop as well as the humidity, the rust disappears. It tends to attack stressed lawns more than it does healthy lawns. But then again, when it’s really hot, any lawn is stressed.

I have it on my lawn right now, and my course of action is to just chill. It will go away.

Mike McGroarty is the owner of McGroarty Enterprises and the author of several books. You can visit his website at and read his blog at

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