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Mysterious orange powder on the lawn

What is this mysterious orange powder on my lawn and ornamental grasses?

**FULL QUESTION** Dear *Gardening Life*, For the past two years, my lawn has had a kind of orange powder on it, which gets on my shoes. Now I have noticed a few of my ornamental grasses have it as well. What is it and how do I stop it? I’m in Zone 5. *—Lynne Jeffreys, Scarborough, ON*

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**FULL ANSWER** It sounds as though you have rust, which is a fungal disease. You have to be careful you don’t spread it around. The best cure is improving your lawn’s health: top-dress the lawn with compost and water deeply at least once a week (but don’t overwater). When you cut the grass, collect the clippings and throw them out so the fungus spores don’t infect other plants. Overseed with a seed mix containing a variety of grass species; they will help each other ward off rust and other diseases. *—Marjorie Harris, Editor at Large* Other questions recently answered by the GL team: Controlling weeds without chemicals Getting rid of pesky iris borers Finding crabgrass seeds Planting under maple trees Discouraging cats from your garden Hints for growing sweet bell peppers Buying exotic plants in Toronto Preventing brown leaf spot Information on peony-flowered poppies Tips for growing tulips and lilies When to move irises Maintaining blue spruces The best way to grow gunneras Getting rid of sawfly larvae on roses Eliminating earwigs from clematis flowers Beetle damage to spruce trees Removing whiteflies from hibiscus leaves Building a cactus garden Maintaining redbud trees Maintaining Boston ivy growth Using black walnut leaves for mulch Stopping powdery mildew on maples Planting trees near a swale Growing on a septic field How to battle weeds between flagstone and alternative options

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