What is Brown Patch?
A beautiful lawn can be destroyed quickly by harsh diseases that plague the landscape industry. One of these is known as Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia), a very serious fungal disease. Brown Patch typically develops rapidly when temperatures are warm (70-90 degrees F) and humid, especially during warmer periods of the fall and winter months.
What Sod Varieties are Most Susceptible to Brown Patch?
Brown Patch most commonly affects St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia grasses. The disease usually causes thinned patches of light brown grass that are roughly circular in shape, ranging in diameter from a few inches to several feet. Often, the center of the patch will recover, resulting in a doughnut-shaped pattern. Close inspection of the grass blade will reveal small, irregular, tan leaf spots (burnt cigarette appearance) with dark-brown borders in combination with rotted leaf sheaths near the soil surface.
How Can I Prevent Brown Patch?
The best way to prevent Brown Patch is by following good lawn care practices:
1. Avoid high nitrogen rates on warm-season grasses in late fall.
2. Irrigate grass early in the morning, and only when needed.
3. Remove grass clippings if the weather is warm and moist to help prevent spreading Brown Patch to other areas during mowing.
4. Keep lawns mowed to the proper height and at the right intervals for the grass species in the lawn.
5. Provide good drainage for surface and subsurface areas.
It can be difficult for homeowners to control Brown Patch with fungicides, but regular applications can vastly improve the outcome. A good rule of thumb for warm-season grasses is to initiate fungicide applications when nighttime low temperatures reach 70 degrees F. Stop applications when nighttime lows are forecast to be below 70 degrees F for five consecutive days. Typically, applications are made at 14-day intervals.
We highly recommend Heritage! This product is a granular systemic fungicide with an easy-spread formula for the control and suppression of broad-spectrum and systemic diseases of turfgrasses. This product can be used in a preventative disease control program.