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Brown Patch Disease

Brown Patch on Warm Season Turf

Brown patch disease may be the one thing standing between you and a lush, green lawn. Don’t let those unsightly, brown and tan patches get you down. Fight back against turf diseases and reclaim the healthy lawn you deserve – find out how with these tips from Weed Man Lawn Care.

What is Brown Patch Disease?

Rhizoctonia Blight – commonly known as brown patch – is a turf disease caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. It is the most damaging disease of warm season turfgrasses in the South. St. Augustine, zoysiagrass, and centipedegrass are most susceptible to outbreaks of the disease.  

Symptoms of Brown Patch

As its name suggests, brown patch presents itself on the lawn in the form of circular, brown patches.  These can range in size from a few inches to several feet in diameter. These areas often coalesce into large, irregular patches of discolored turf. In the early morning dew, strands of a cobwebby fungal growth called mycelium may be evident on the grass blades. The affected grass will discolor and, in severe cases, may die.

Causes of Brown Patch

The disease generally attacks grass plants during periods of wet, overcast weather in late fall through to early spring, and is most active following heavy rainfall with regular temperatures of 60-80 degrees. Excessive nitrogen fertility levels and thatch can also lead to an outbreak of brown patch.
The following can also help create a favorable environment for brown patch:
  • Overwatering
  • Watering in the late afternoon
  • Mowing in the evening, when the lawn is wet, or with a dull mower blade
  • Poor soil drainage
  • Lack of air movement
  • Thatch build up
  • Shade on your lawn

Prevention and Control Tips

The best defense against Brown patch and other turfgrass diseases is a thick, healthy lawn. Weed Man’s granular, slow-release fertilizer applied at the right time will strengthen your lawn and help it fight off common stressors.

If brown patch is already present on your lawn, the following techniques can help improve environmental conditions:
  • Withhold water from affected areas until the soil dries. Then, practice deep, infrequent watering rather than frequent short periods of watering.
  • Water in the mornings ONLY. This will allow the grass and soil to dry before the sun goes down.
  • Mow frequently at the highest setting.
  • Mow with a razor-sharp blade.
  • Prune nearby trees and shrubs to allow for more sunlight and to improve evaporation.
Brown patch can also be controlled with the application of fungicide. To ensure continuous control, fungicides must be applied every 10 to 30 days. Your local Weed Man professional can help you create a disease control program that is right for your lawn.

Don’t let your brown lawn ruin your spring season. Effective disease management and the lush, healthy lawn that comes with it are only a phone call away.
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