Brown Patch Disease in Lawns
With our increased humidity and rainfall, you may be seeing the fungal disease called Brown Patch show up in your lawns right about now.
Symptoms of Brown Patch can vary depending on how you’ve been mowing your lawn. In most home landscapes, where your lawn is mowed higher than 1”, you’ll usually see Brown Patch appear as circular patches that can be brown, yellow or tan in color. The spots can range in size from as small as 6” up to several feet in diameter.
Leaf blades that have been infected typically stay upright in their growth habit, but you’ll see lesions on the blades. These lesions will be tan with a dark brown border. You may also see areas of gray cotton-like growth, which are the mycelium of the fungus. If you’re mowing your lawn shorter than 1” (Bermuda grass) then you’ll see circular patches that are brown or orange in color.
These disease is mostly a problem when temperatures are still warm, but humidity or rainfall is high. Poor drainage, shade, cloudy weather, over-watering and watering in the evening are all situations that encourage Brown Patch disease. You’ll find that Brown Patch is most severe in lawns that have been over-fertilized with too much synthetic Nitrogen. Low levels of available phosphorus and potassium also leave turf more susceptible to damage from the disease. Be sure to cut back your irrigation system now that temperatures are dropping and we’re getting fall rain. A healthy soil and turf fertilized organically is best able to resist and tolerate infection by Brown Patch.
Improving drainage and improving compacted soil can help minimize damage by Brown Patch. Organic fertilization, amendment and aeration are all practices that aid in soil health and drainage.
When we visit your property as part of our Soil Building Program, we will inspect your lawn for Brown Patch and treat the disease with organic fungicides.
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