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What Causes Brown Patches In Lawn

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My Entire Lawn Turned Brown In Fall

What causes Brown Spots in the Summer? | Lawn Fungus Control

If you live in a warm climate, theres likely no need to worry. Warm-season grasses like zoysiagrass or bermudagrass turn brown in fall season to prep for winter. As temperatures cool down, warm-season grasses go dormant to protect themselves from winter elements, and then theyre back in action come springtime.

As long as your lawn is pretty evenly brown, and not covered in blotchy brown patches, you dont need to be concerned.

Why Is My Lawn Brown Some Symptoms To Look For

Getting to the bottom of your lawn problems all starts with a little bit of sleuthing. The truth is, dead spots in the lawn can be caused by quite a few different culprits and determining which one is at fault isnt exactly easy.

It can help to look for specific symptoms to clue you into what might be causing the brown or dead spots on your lawn. Here are some things that you might notice as you dig deeper into your Pennsylvania lawn problem. Well get into more detail about the causes of these symptoms later in this article.

  • Distinct patterns
  • Grass changing color from green to yellowish or brown
  • An influx of animals like moles, skunks, and birds visiting your yard
  • Lawn that is peeling up or can be rolled like a carpet
  • Grass that gets matted down when you walk on it

How To Prevent Brown Patch

The fungus thrives on conditions that leave your lawn damp for 48 hours or more, making mid-late summer prime time for it to thrive with damage rearing its ugly head in the fall. Not to mention excessive irrigation, rainfall, and humidity all exacerbate the problem. For this reason, water management is key to preventing brown patch. Irrigation should only be used to supplement rainfall. Rain sensors and smart controllers solve for this and ensure youre not overwatering.

One of the toughest parts about treating brown patch is that its likely to reoccur in lawns that have previously struggled with the fungus. If your lawn tends to be affected by brown patch annually, your landscape partner will probably prescribe a prophylactic fungicide application in the fall, with follow-up applications at regular intervals as the weather continues to cool.

Even if your lawn has been spared, you should still remain vigilant. Brown patch can remain dormant in soil for years until favorable conditions are achieved. In fact, some properties that struggle with brown patch might notice signs of infection subside when the weather warms, only to return later in the year when conditions become favorable once more.

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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:

  • Bermuda,
  • 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.

How To Get Rid Of Dog Spots

Why Are There Brown Spots In My Lawn?

Soak the patch until the grass is sopping wet to dilute the urine acids and salts and wash them deeper into the soil, beyond the grass roots.

Scrape up the dead grass with a hand rake and remove it. Rough up the area to loosen the soil 1/2-in. deep. Seeds germinate better in soft soil.

Sprinkle on a 1/2-in.-thick layer of topsoil, then pepper it with grass seed. Cover with a pinch of new soil and press it to firm it up. Keep the area moist until the new grass is about three inches high.

Also Check: How Often Should I Fertilize My Lawn In Colorado

Cultural Management: Preventing Brown Patch Lawn Disease

Since high levels of fast release nitrogen increase disease activity, Spring-Green uses a correct blend of fertilizers 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 core aeration. If these cultural cures fail, a preventative fungicide lawn treatment program may have to be applied to control this most damaging of lawn diseases.

What Type Of Grass Is Most Susceptible To Brown Patch

Brown Patch lawn disease is a common and widespread problem caused by Rhizoctonia solani fungus. The disease can infect a variety of common turfgrasses, but the most susceptible grass species include perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and the bentgrasses.

Brown Patch can also become a problem to Kentucky bluegrasses in mid-to-late summer during extended periods of high temperature and humidity.

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Factors That Cause Brown Spots In A Lawn

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When your lawn is covered in unsightly brown patches, there’s no splendor in the grass. Even with lots of care, fertilizer and regular waterings, various problems can turn green grass brown, so consider what the culprit might be before taking action. Keeping lawns in good health helps prevent many problems though, and also ensures grass recovers quickly.

Large Patch Or Brown Patch

Brown Spots In The Lawn: Fungus And Disease Options

The most common disease affecting grass in our area, a fungus called rhizoctonia manifests as large patch in warm season grasses and brown patch in cool season grasses.

Warm season varieties like Bermuda, zoysia and centipede are particularly vulnerable this time of year when vigorous summer growth slows for the transition into dormancy.

As the name suggests, large patch causes sizeable areas of diseased grass in an otherwise healthy lawn. Damage is often circular and can range from less than three feet to 25 feet in diameter. The foliage typically dies back from the leaf tip toward the base, and the more recently affected grass along the edges may appear orange.

In cool season grasses, like tall fescue, brown patch may cause rings or patches of damaged grass measuring five inches to 10 feet or more in diameter. Leaf spots may be noticeable on broader leafed varieties, and new leaves may attempt to grow within a blighted area.

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Which Fungicides To Pick

Clemsons HGIC guide also provides a table of fungicide active ingredients and their effectiveness on brown patch fungus:

Some that the table lists as excellent are:

  • Pyraclostrobin in Pillar G Intrinsic Fungicide.
  • Fluoxastrobin in Disarm 0.25.
  • Azoxystrobin, both with and without Propicanazol.

Its a good idea to go ahead and pick up two different fungicides. Alternating which ones you use can help prevent a buildup of resistance to any certain fungicide.

What Is Causing These Brown Patches In My Yard

It’s true, our lawns aren’t always as green as we want them to be.

You may be treating your lawn perfectly and still experience a brown patch in the lawn.

So what is causing the brown patches of grass?

And what can you do to fix a dead patch of grass?

Well, we did the leg work and reached out to the pros to find out.

Below you will find what they had to say!

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How To Control Lawn Diseases

Milder temperatures and any rainfall and humidity during autumn can promote the growth of lawn diseases. Lawn diseases include brown patch, winter fusarium, dollar spot and anthracnose. Lawn diseases can be hard to diagnose as signs can be similar to that of other lawn problems such as damage from insect pests like curl grubs and armyworm.

Common lawn disease symptoms include areas of small discoloured, brown, dead or dying patches in the lawn. Lawn diseases can spread and also reoccur year after year, so its important to get them under control and keep your lawn looking fantastic.

Heres how to help reduce lawn diseases:

  • Mow regularly to prevent a build up of thatch and remove clippings from the lawn.

  • Water only in the mornings, to allow the lawn to dry off during the day.

  • Use a soil wetting agent likeYates Waterwise Soil Wetterto improve water penetration into the soil, so water is less likely to sit on the soil surface.

  • Aerate or core your lawn to improve drainage.

  • For the control of Lawn diseases , try Yates Mancozeb Plus Garden Fungicide & Miticide.

  • Keep your grass well fed with a lawn food that contains a good amount of potassium, such asYates Dynamic Lifter Concentrated Lawn Food. Potassium is a nutrient that helps strengthen the lawn so its better able to resist disease infection. Yates Dynamic Lifter applied during autumn will also promote a lush green lawn as winter approaches and add valuable organic matter back into the soil.

Dead Spots In The Lawn: Causes To Consider

Tips for controlling

If youre trying to figure out why is my lawn dying, then youll want to consider some of these common causes. Keep in mind that it may be one or more of these issues. Its quite common that a lawn can be suffering from multiple problems at the same time, making it even more challenging to get it under control.

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How To Identify Brown Patch

If your lawn has begun to yellow rapidly, take a closer look at the size and shape of the affected areas. With brown patch, they are likely to be roughly circular, though a bit irregular. Patch sizes can range from a few inches to several feet in diameter. If brown patch has been active for a while, the spots might also look like patches of good grass with rings of dead or thin grass around them.

Besides yellow, do you notice any other colors in the patchy areas? Brown patch patches can be darker purple or burgundy on the outside, for example. Other signs include irregular tan spots bordered by a darker outline on grass blades, brown and shriveled blades, rotting at the base of the blades, darker blades that look water-soaked, and possibly white, cobweb-like growth around the blades .

What Causes Brown Patches In Centipede Grass

The fungus responsible is Rhizoctonia solani, and it’s most serious on centipede grass and St. Augustine grass. Brown patch is seen in spring and fall when temperatures are mild and moisture is abundant. The symptoms include brownish to gray, irregular to circular areas a few inches to several feet in diameter.

Also know, why is my centipede grass brown?

Centipede grass requires little fertilization, especially in heavy or clay soils. Fertilizing too early increases the risk of cold damage caused by late season frosts. Large patch is a fungal disease that causes somewhat circular patches of grass to turn brown or tan and die.

Also, what does fungus look like in centipede grass? Generally, brown patch fungus attacks the base of leaves where they are joined to stolons. Leaves turn yellowish or orangish in St. Augustine grass and reddish or purplish in centipede grass before dying. You may see a ring of one of these colors at the edge of the dead areas when the infection is active.

Also to know is, how do I treat brown patches on my lawn?

But you can minimize the chances for a brown patch with a good lawn care regimen.

  • Do not over-fertilize, and avoid feeding your lawn during hot and humid weather.
  • Use proper watering practices.
  • Reseed with resistant grass cultivars.
  • Apply fungicide where appropriate.
  • How do you revive centipede grass?

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    What Are Signs Of Brown Patch Lawn Disease

    If you see spotting on your leaf bladeswhich can eventually bleed together to turn the entire leaf brownsuspect Brown Patch is invading your lawn.

    More obvious signs to identify brown patch lawn fungus are circular areas of brown and dead grass surrounded by a narrow, dark ring. Patches are typically irregular and can be quite large, as this disease can spread fast.

    This brown spotting can take on different appearances depending on the characteristics of the grass it infects. The following are signs of brown patch based on the type of grass you may have in your yard:

    • Closely mown grasses: Any grass you should cut short, like some Zoysias, will show circular rings of brown patches and an expanding gray ring on the outer edgemost noticeable when the grass is damp, especially in the early morning hours.
    • High-cut grasses: Grasses that are kept taller often exhibit circular or nearly circular brown areas, but without the visible details of gray exterior.
    • Tall fescue: Tall fescue varieties often don’t exhibit the characteristic circular patterns. Rather, the fungus will appear on scattered blades of grass, so that the whole lawn may seem a little off, with a tannish cast rather than the vibrant green you want to see.

    Common Lawn Diseases And Pests

    Fixing brown patches on your lawn – Green Home

    If youve eliminated all the above causes, its time to move on to some of the more serious diseases and pests that plague lawn grasses. Some of the most common culprits are:

    Thatch: Thatch is a buildup of decaying grass blades that can build up so thick that it chokes out healthy grass.

    Remedy: Remove thatch if it is more than ½ thick.

    Grubs: Grubs are a common problem in mid to late summer, and most easily identified when your sod easily pulls back from the ground like a carpet.

    Remedy: Pull back a section of sod and inspect for fat, white curved worms. More than ten per square foot can cause lawn damage. Grub control products are available at your garden center.

    Chinch bugs: Chinch bugs are a common summer pest in warm-season lawns, especially in hot sunny patches beside driveways and sidewalks.

    Remedy: Inspect your lawn closely, and look at your shoes as you walk through the grass you should be able to spot the small black and white adults. Theyre resistant to many pesticides, but there are products available to target them.

    Other insects: Caterpillars and other pests can live part of their life cycle in lawns.

    Remedy: Watch your lawn closely look for crawling and munching insects and for grass blades that look eaten. Also watch for birds and wasps feeding on these pests in your lawn.

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    Preventing Brown Patch: Do The Basics

    Good basic lawn care practices represent the best way to prevent brown patch and other lawn diseases.

    the best way to prevent brown patch or large patch in the home lawn is by following good lawn care practices, Clemson HGIC says.

    Once you have an outbreak, you really cant treat symptoms, Patton says. Whats already been affected wont be cured overnight.

    The best defense for your lawn, as with other pest and disease problems, is a good foundation, he said. the best way to prevent brown patch or large patch in the home lawn is by following good lawn care practices, according to Clemsons guide.

    Attention to cultural practices taking proper care of your lawn with regular mowing, proper fertilizing, irrigation, air circulation and weed control help prevent brown patch.

    A Healthy Lawn In Your Future

    How to repair the brown or dead spots in your lawn will depend upon what caused them in the first place. Weve already mentioned some potential repairs depending upon the causes but a lawn care professional can help you determine which steps are right for you in order to get your lawn on its way to better health.

    You might also want to consider some healthy practices to keep your lawn in good shapeafter addressing some of its specific concerns. Getting on a regular lawn care program can help promote a healthier lawn and prevent some of these problems from happening in the first place. Thats because a healthy lawn will provide the best possible defense against disease, pests, and environmental stressors.

    While some problems are difficult to avoid, the better shape that your lawn is, the better it will perform. Generally, that means reducing and ultimately eliminating brown spots and letting beautiful, green grass fill in. With the right care, your lawn can be on its way to looking its best.

    Are you ready to get rid of dead or brown patches in your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA lawn? Get in touch with us to get some free expert advice and find out more about our lawn care programs which include three lawn care pricing options to give you the lush lawn youre looking for.

    Ready to get started?

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    What Causes Brown Spots In The Lawn

    Discover the most common causes of brown patches in your yard and how to treat them.

    It can be alarming and frustrating to see brown spots ruining what would otherwise be a beautiful green stretch of grass, especially if youre not sure how they got there or what to do about them. Brown spots in the lawn can show up for many different reasons, so the first step toward treating them is to identify the cause of the problem. Below are the most common causes of brown spots in the lawn and how to treat them so you can get your lush green lawn back.


    Brown spots due to fungal problems usually show up as irregular patches. If the disease has been active for a while, the inside of the patch may recover, leaving a ring of dead grass around it. Extremely rainy or humid weather can encourage fungal outbreaks, as can lack of sunlight and poor air circulation. Although you cant control the weather, there is something you can do to protect against fungus. ApplyScotts® DiseaseExLawn Fungicide according to the label directions to not only treat active diseases, but also to prevent future problems from listed fungi.


    Dog Urine Burns

    Weed Dieback

    Dead spots can also occur in the lawn when annual weeds like crabgrass, annual bluegrass, and foxtail begin to die back. This is a natural cycle that can be avoided with proper lawn maintenance and quickly patched withScotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair. As always, be sure to follow the directions on the label.


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