The summer weather is heating up around St. Louis which means that your lawn is more susceptible to brown patch. Brown patch, or Rhizoctonia blight, is a lawn disease caused by the Rhizoctonia solani fungus that attacks turf in hot weather. It can attack any type of grass but most commonly affects tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, creeping bentgrass, and annual bluegrass.
Brown patch appears on lawns as brown, circular patches that can vary in size from just a few inches to a few feet in diameter. Affected areas may also show a fungal growth of mycelium that resembles strands of cobweb in the morning dew. Areas affected by brown patch will discolor and if no action is taken and the grass will die. Brown patch is most active when the temperature and humidity are at relatively high levels with the highest activity occurring once the temperature reaches 85 degrees during the day and remains above 60 degrees over night. Periods of high moisture, rain, or overcast skies in combination with high temperatures form favorable conditions for brown patch.
While the weather is a major determinant in the formation of brown patch, these other factors can also contribute to its occurrence:
- Late afternoon watering
- Mowing in the evening, when the lawn is wet, or with a dull blade
- Poor drainage and air movement in the soil
- Thatch build up
- Shaded areas
Brown patch can effectively be prevented by a healthy lawn with a strong root system. The slow release, granular fertilizer applied by Green T contributes to a strong root system that can fight off common lawn diseases when healthy. Spring and fall aeration can also help as it loosens the soil to improve drainage and reduce thatch. However, if your lawn shows symptoms of brown patch, the following actions can help:
- Do not water affected areas until the soil is dry
- Water thoroughly and infrequently rather than watering lightly more frequently
- Only water in the mornings so that the soil and grass can dry before sun down
- Mow frequently with a sharp blade at the highest setting
If brown patch persists in your lawn after trying these techniques, notify a Green T technician. We offer fungicide applications that can help eliminate fungal lawn diseases like brown patch. We also offer granular fertilizer applications throughout the season to promote a healthy root system as well as fall and spring aerations. Enjoy your lawn this summer by keeping it free from brown patch.Comment »