Mysterious orange powder on the lawn

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

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