Do you wish you could enjoy your lush green yard this summer, yet find yourself focusing on the circular patches of brown grass instead? If you have brown patches in your lawn, the first step to is to determine whether or not they are symptoms of lawn disease. ‘Brown patch” is a common lawn disease that will require fungicide treatment before you can be at ease looking at your landscape again.
How can you tell if it is disease?
Not all brown patches are fungus. Brown spots can be a result of several environmental factors as well. Yards with poor drainage can cause root rot in specific areas, which may produce spots of dead grass. Also, hard soil or soil that is compacted beneath new sod will also lead to brownish patches on the grass surface. Lastly, your brown circles of grass may simply be a result of the urinating habits of your neighbor’s dog.
There are, however, some telltale signs of brown patches related to disease. True symptoms of brown patch spots are usually small to begin with. However, in warm weather they tend to enlarge quickly. The diseased patch will look like a doughnut – a ring of light brown grass with a small patch of green grass in the center. Individual grass blades will be brown down to the crown, yet the crown will remain green. Additionally, you may notice a white fungal web at the edge of your brown patch during early summer mornings when it is damp and hot.
What can you do?
Although the fungus itself that causes brown patch can never be completely eliminated, there are ways you can control brown patches and strengthen your lawn to make it less susceptible to the disease.
- Water: It is important to water at the right time. Since brown patch needs 14-16 hours of wet leaf surface to reproduce itself, water only after the dew has dried in the morning.
- Fertilize: You can help keep the grass strong by fertilizing only when the grass needs it: during the cool months for fescue and during the warm months for bermuda grass.
- Apply Fungicide: Your lawn disease can be controlled with fungicides. Several are labeled for brown patch control. It is important to make sure you have a positive identification on what is truly causing your brown spots. Professionals, such as Pannone’s Lawn Pros & Landscaping can help determine the true cause of your problem before you invest in lawn treatments. Curing brown patch in a lawn may require an application of fungicide every 14 days. On average a lawn fungicide will cost you up to $20 per 1000 square feet per application.
Healthy green grass often depends on your awareness of areas that are struggling to thrive or that appear brown or dull. Even a small brown circle in your yard might be the result of a lawn disease that needs prompt and professional attention before it’s too late.