Cultural Management: Preventing Brown Patch Lawn Disease
Since high levels of fast release nitrogen increase disease activity, Spring-Green uses a correct blend of for lawn fertilizing during the warmer months. Mow less frequently during periods of hot and humid weather, this reduces stress and limits the movement of grass disease by being carried on your feet or mower. If possible, increase light and air penetration, or movement, by pruning overhanging trees and shrubs. During cooler seasons, open up the thatch layer with power . If these cultural cures fail, a preventative fungicide lawn treatment program may have to be applied to control this most damaging of lawn diseases.
How To Maintain Your Lawn To Help Reduce Brown Patch
A healthy lawn is a stronger lawn and will be better able to withstand fungal diseases like brown patch. Follow these guidelines:
- Plant disease-resistant varieties and seed mixtures. For example, Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue® Mix for Tall Fescue Lawns combines improved turf-type tall fescue varieties with a heat-tolerant Kentucky bluegrass to help reduce the impact of brown patch on your lawn.
- Reduce the amount of time the grass blades are wet. When needed, water during the early morning hours. Dont water between 7:00 PM and 3:00 AM, as the blades will stay wet overnight.
- Feed the lawn regularly with Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food. Be sure to follow label directions, as overfed lawns are more susceptible to brown patch.
- Unless it is a controlled-release product, dont apply nitrogen fertilizer when hot, humid weather is expected .
Since wet conditions help promote brown patch, make sure your lawn has good drainage and air flow, and consider pruning overgrown trees to prevent too much shade and increase air movement for faster drying. It may also be helpful to aerate and dethatch the lawn every 1 to 3 years to allow air, water, and nutrients to move more freely into the soil.
Brown Lawn Got You Down
A brown lawn may be the one thing standing between you and a summer full of fun. Since the beauty of a lawn is largely dependent on its healthy, green hue, anything other color tends to stand out like a sore thumb. Brown spots or patches can be an ongoing source of frustration for homeowners seeking a lush, uniform landscape. Dont let those ugly, straw-colored patches get you down. Fight back against turf diseases and reclaim the healthy, green lawn you deserve!
Rhizoctonia Blight commonly known as Brown Patch is a hot weather turf disease caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. While it can occur on all types of turf, it is most damaging to tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass.
You May Like: How To Clean Lawn Mower
How To Get Rid Of Brown Patch Disease On Grass
Kelly Burke is a professional turf manager for a manicured corporate campus in New England. He is accredited in organic land care and is a licensed pesticide applicator. He formerly managed the turfgrass as a golf course superintendent and has held several senior management positions at private country clubs overseeing high maintenance lawns.
The Spruce / K. Dave
- Working Time: 1 – 3 hrs
- Total Time: 1 hr – 1 day
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Estimated Cost: $10 to $200
Many conditions can cause patches of brown, dead grass on your lawn, but only one gets the official name “brown patch.” Brown patch disease is a condition caused by a Rhizoctonia fungus, usually Rhizoctonia solani. The fungus often appears in mid- to late-summer when the weather is hot and humid. Brown patch is a foliar disease, meaning that it harms the blades of grass but not the crown of the plant or the root system. Grass plants affected by brown patch may recover on their own, without chemical intervention.
Rhizoctonia can affect all cool-season lawn grasses, but it is especially harmful to ryegrass and tall fescue. Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescues can occasionally be affected, but the damage is usually minimal in these species. Brown patch can also affect a variety of warm-season grasses, including St. Augustine grass and zoysiagrass.
Professional Help For Brown Spots In Your Lawn
The long list of factors that affect the health of your lawn can be overwhelming, especially when youre battling dried brown or yellow spots that wont go away. TruGreens local teams can offer personalized assistance to get to the bottom of whats plaguing your landscape.
TruGreens annual maintenance plans provide lawn health analyses, aeration, fertilization, as well as pest and weed control. With a professional team on your side, the occasional brown spot can be addressed by an expert eye without delay.
With local experts across the country, TruGreen offers eco-conscious, affordable lawn care services that can both diagnose common problems and maintain healthy lawns throughout the year. Reach out to a specialist in your area today for a free assessment and plan for the brown spots of your lawn.
You May Like: How To Control Ants In Your Lawn
How To Fix Dry Grass And Brown Spots On Your Lawn
Keep your yard green and lush by addressing these problems before they take over.
You love the sight of a lush, well-manicured lawn that turns your backyard into a green oasis. But if you have some unsightly dry, brown spots, weve got good newstheres a fix for that.
From matted grass to insect problems, were here to help you convert your lackluster yard into a verdant space. Here are eight common problems with turf grass and how to identify and fix each one to maintain a healthy, good-looking lawn.
1. Problem: Brown Spots
What the Lawn Is Trying to Tell You: Few lawn problems are as unsightly as seeing your lush, green lawn punctuated with large brown spots. There are several reasons for brown, or even dead, spots in your lawn. Some are obvious, such as a dog doing its business on the grass, but others require a bit more detective work. Grass can turn brown if the soils pH is too high, meaning the soil is too acidic. You can test the pH and add nutrients, like lime or sulfur, which will correct the pH balance. But in extreme cases, you may need to replace the grass and soil altogether.
Soil test kits are sold online and in garden shops both battery-powered digital meters and traditional manual test kits are available.
You can check your soils condition with this rudimentary DIY test:
+ Place a handful of soil into a clean container.
+ Add ½ cup of white vinegar.
+ If the soil starts to fizz, then its likely alkaline.
2. Problem: Grass Is Wilting or Turning Brown
Brown Spots On Lawn: How To Identify The Cause
Brown spots on lawns are frustrating to deal with! Just when you think youve done everything right, suddenly theres a patch of grass thats dead or dying. There are a number of causes of brown spots in lawns, from insects to disease to human error.
To get to the bottom of the situation, youll have to do a little old-fashioned investigating. Heres a checklist to help you determine the cause of brown spots in your yard.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Bring My Lawn Back To Life
Possible Reasons For Brown Spots In The Lawn
As we mentioned, the potential reasons for having brown spots can be quite vast. While we wont dive into detail on each one, we want to at least share some of the possible reasons why your lawn could be dealing with brown spots. We have a lot of articles already written on many of these topics if you want to read more.
- Lawn Fungus: As we mentioned before, lawn fungus can definitely cause brown spots on the grass. In fact, a disease called Brown Patch causes brown spots . But we have other common diseases in our region including Rust or Red Thread and Dollar Spot, which can also do this.
- Mowing the Lawn Too Short: Homeowners are often surprised just how much impact tasks like mowing the lawn can impact their lawn care results. But mowing the lawn too short can put a lot of stress on it and actually cause it to thin out and potentially die. We recommend a mowing height of at least 3.5 inches.
- Armyworms: A sudden influx of Armyworms was an unprecedented event in the Fall of 2021 , and we had a number of customers calling about brown spots in the lawn due to armyworm damage. We cant be sure what kind of damage these pests might cause in the future but this was a rare instance when these caterpillars literally blew in from storms in the South, in the form of moths.
How To Get Rid Of Brown Patch Fungus On Lawn
There are some helpful techniques to reduce the chances of being infected by Brown Patch Fungus, or limit and manage the disease. A healthy turf is much more resistant to disease. By watering your lawn on an as needed basis, rather than just a set schedule, and considering the time of year and rainfall, you can better manage your turf to ensure it is receiving the proper amount of water. Frequent mowing at the recommended mow height is critical to the health of the turf. It is very important that your turf is not cut too short, or scalped. Design your landscape so the turf receives the proper amount of shade. And lastly, proper fertilization from a professional can keep your turf thick, green, and healthy. Maintaining a healthy landscape will make your lawn much less susceptible to disease. To hear more about the specific needs of your landscape, call Hulett Environmental Services for a free diagnosis and recommendation. However, sometimes even with the best landscape management, disease cannot be prevented, and professional treatment is needed.
Read Also: What Is The Best Manual Lawn Mower
Chemical Burns From Fertilizer
Another very common reason your lawn is turning brown in spots is overusing or spilling fertilizer or spilling other chemicals on your lawn.
This results in either a chemical burn or a change in pH in your soil, which will cause your grass in that location to die.
To avoid these types of chemical burns, it is important to use fertilizer as directed and to dispose of other chemicals properly.
Avoid pouring gasoline into your lawnmower on your lawn and instead, do it in the garage or on your driveway.
Too much nitrogen can specifically cause these kinds of burns, whether the nitrogen comes from spilling fertilizer as you turn your broadcast spreader or from animal urine.
Thats right, dogs or other animals peeing on your lawn also kills grass due to the high nitrogen content in their urine.
Encourage your dog to pee elsewhere in your yard or take them on a walk to avoid urine burns on your lawn.
Causes Of Brown Patch
Brown spots shouldnt ruin your chance at having the lawn you want. In order to identify whats at play on your turf and figure out the best plan of attack for treating any discolored areas on the lawn, you must first pinpoint what could be causing the issue. Take a look at the top three culprits behind brown spots below:
1. Turf Disease
There is a long list of turf diseases that can turn an otherwise green lawn off color. These diseases are caused by fungi that live in the thatch and soil, often activated by high moisture, humidity, or mowing the lawn when it is wet. Brown patch, dollar spot, leaf blight, and necrotic ring can all cause areas of the lawn to turn brown. Although these diseases may sound serious, the majority will disappear on their own with improved environmental conditions. In some cases, an application of fungicide may be required. If you arent sure if turf disease is affecting your lawn, its best to contact your Weed Man team for verification. We will provide you with a proper diagnosis and advise you on next steps.
3. Insect Damage
Recommended Reading: How To Make Your Lawn Nice
Problem: Circles Pop Up In The Grass
What the Lawn Is Trying to Tell You:
Fungal threads in the soil will initially cause the circle of grass to appear greener than the surrounding grass because there is more decaying organic matter there. The decay is providing nutrients to the soil and giving it more moisture, Cain says. But as the fungus grows and works deeper into the ground, it will eventually starve out the grassroots denying them moisture and nutrients. And, as mentioned earlier, watering after dark should be avoided. Watering in the evenings can create a microclimate and make the fungus even worse, Cain says.
Your first line of defense against these circles is to apply a fungicide to the lawn. And you only need to treat the affected area, not the entire lawn. If that doesnt work, dig up the ring and plant new grass.
4. Problem: Grass Is Matted Down
What the Lawn Is Trying to Tell You: This, too, could be a fungus problem, says Chad Diller, a marketing coordinator for Tomlinson Bomberger, a lawn care, landscape, and pest-control company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Consecutive wet nights during the summer are a prime cause of matting, Diller says. If you have an environment of dampness and warm temperatures, it can quickly lead to fungi.
University extensions can help you identify the specific fungus, and then provide fact sheets for treating it.
5. Problem: Grass Wont Grow Under a Tree
To be perfectly honest here: let it go.
6. Problem: Insects Taking Over
Grasses Most Commonly Affected With Brown Spots
Get this! Brown patches are more common in some types of grass than others.
These patches normally start as a small spot, but can quickly spread outwards in a circular or horseshoe pattern several feet wide.
The grasses most commonly affected by brown patches are:
- St. Augustine,
- and Ryegrass.
KEEP IN MIND: if you have a crabgrass lawn, you may experience brown patches frequently. If this is the case, you may want to consider selecting a better grass seed.
Read Also: How To Remove Violets From Lawn
Brown Spots In Grass: Identification And Prevention
No one wants unsightly brown spots taking over their once-green stretch of lush, green lawn. But in order to solve this problem, you have to know exactly what youre dealing with. There are multiple causes of brown spots, from poor soil quality to dog urine and over-fertilization. But dont fret. This Old House will show you how to identify the brown spots in your grass, repair them, and prevent them.
Once youve taken care of your brown spot, This Old House Reviews Team recommends hiring a professional lawn care company to handle all of your lawn care needs to keep your grass hardy and robust. TruGreen offers five annual plans with options like overseeding and aeration that can help you avoid brown spots.
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. 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.
Recommended Reading: How To Care For Sodded Lawn
Making A Proper Diagnosis
At the end of the day, properly diagnosing the brown or dead spots in your lawn may be difficult without prior experience and training in lawn care. Even knowing some of the symptoms to look for, its important to note that many times one problem can easily mimic another. Plus, as mentioned, its quite common for a lawn to have more problem than oneoccurring simultaneously.
Thats why its incredibly beneficial to have a knowledgeable lawn care company in Allentown, Lansdale, or Collegeville, PA perform an evaluation of your lawn. They should be able to tell you exactly whats going on, and what can be done to fix itwhether its something to do on your own or with the help of a pro.
The last thing that you want to do is try to fix the problem and make it worse. If you really want to fix the brown or dead patches in your lawn, you need to make sure youre educated on whats really wrong.
Prevention And Control Tips
The best defense against Brown Patch and other turfgrass diseases is a healthy, hardy lawn. Weed Mans granular, slow-release fertilizer applied at the right time will strengthen your lawn and help it fight off common stressors. Core aeration will also help. Aeration improves soil drainage, relieves compaction, and reduces thatch .
If brown patch is already present on your lawn, try the following techniques:
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.
Brown patch can also be controlled with the application of fungicide. To ensure continuous control, fungicides must be applied every 21 to 28 days . Your local Weed Man professional can help you create a disease control program that is right for your lawn.
Dont let your brown lawn make you blue this summer. Effective disease management and the lush, healthy lawn that comes with it are only a phone call away.
You May Like: How To Water Your Lawn
How To Spot And Treat Brown Spots In Your Lawn
Everyone dreams of a beautiful, vibrant green lawn, so when you notice brown spots in your grass, it can be frustrating. Knowing how to eliminate brown spots before they worsen and take over your yard is essential to maintaining a healthy lawn. If you notice small brown patches developing in your yard, read our guide for common causes and simple treatments to restore your lawn.