This is the 5th installment in “11 Ways to Ensure You Have the Greenest, Healthiest Lawn in Your Neighborhood“ which can be downloaded for FREE from our library of eBooks.
Brown Patch Disease is a confusing name. Many bugs, critters or diseases might cause you to have lawn problems, but Brown Patch Disease is caused by…
…one specific fungus. Brown Patch Disease is also known by the names “Large patch” or “Rhizoctonia blight”. St. Augustine grass is the most common victim of Brown Patch Disease, but all types of warm-season turf grasses can be affected.
The fungus infects blades of grass at their base. There’s a soft, dark rot that has a nasty odor. You’ll notice that the grass looks wilted where the stem meets the blade. If you pull on the grass, it will come off easily.
This lawn problems first symptoms may appear as a small circle of yellow grass. As the disease progresses, the blades will become redder, then brown, then straw-colored. As Brown Patch spreads, you might notice a green center, surrounded by a ring of brown grass.
Brown Patch Disease can crop up any time temperatures are below 80 degrees, but it really thrives when the thermometer dips below 70. The fungus can’t survive temperatures over 90 degrees, so you generally don’t have to worry about it during the summer months. Brown Patch Disease also needs high humidity and rainy days to flourish.
Brown Patch can affect any lawn, but a yard with heavy thatch or too much nitrogen (from fertilizers) will be at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
Since a lawn mower can spread the fungus, it’s important to mow your healthy lawn before moving on to the diseased area. Be sure to wash the grass clippings off the mower blades before your next use.
Because Brown Patch Disease is at its peak when the weather is cold and grass isn’t growing quickly, it may take a long time for your yard to recover.
The treatment for Brown Patch Disease – fungicide – can only stop the disease from spreading. There really isn’t a solution to make your grass grow faster.
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