The beauty of a lawn can be quickly destroyed by brown patch, a serious fungal disease that predominantly affects St. Augustine and zoysiagrass. Brown patch is a turfgrass disease that is caused by the Rhizoctonia species fungus.
When Does Brown Patch Appear?
Generally, we see and treat brown patch during the fall and the warmer periods of the winter months.
How Can I Detect Brown Patch?
Viewing brown patch from above, it will look like a doughnut – a ring of tan grass having a patch of green grass in the center.
- Individual grass blades will be brown down to the crown, where the blade merges from the group, but the crown will be green.
- Grass blades will easily pull off of stolons in the grayish area.
- These patches can range in size from a few inches to several feet in diameter.
How Do I Prevent Brown Patch?
Prevention is much easier to deal with than treatment after a fungus develops! The common themes of unwanted fungus are humid/damp conditions, over-watered lawns, dry lawns, and poorly maintained lawns.
- Water the proper amount, at the proper time of day. Water sitting/pooling in your lawn overnight can promote fungus so try to water between midnight and 9 am, allowing it to dry before the heat of the day sets in.
- Avoid high rates of nitrogen fertilizer during the fall and winter. The disease-causing fungus readily attacks the lush growth of grass which nitrogen promotes.
- Aerating helps to remove extra thatch and brings better air circulation and water penetration to your lawn.
How Do I Treat Brown Patch?
To rid your turf of Brown Patch Fungus, you can apply a fungicide yourself or hire an expert. If you plan to do it yourself, check out an online tutorial to ensure efficacy:
- Inspect your application equipment prior to use
- Follow product application procedures to avoid an improper distribution rate
- Time the application just right, again following the instructions closely, for maximum optimization
- Water exactly as described