Brown Patch Fungus In Your Lawn: Effective Treatments And Prevention Strategies
Brown Patch Fungus with Botanical name, rhizoctonia solani, is a common lawn disease that most typically affects grass in late summer or in areas with high heat and humidity. It is caused by the Rhizoctonia fungus and weakens but does not always kill grass roots. Over-fertilization and excessive fertilizing can make a lawn more prone to brown patch and help it spread all over the lawn if not tended to.
Brown Patch Fungus usually becomes obvious on the lawn around mid to late summer when the temperature is hot and damp. Fortunately, Brown patch disease only affects the leafy part of lawn grass which makes it easy for recovery to take effect quickly when premier lawn care is deployed.
Brown Patch Fungus affects the following types of grasses:
Cool Season Grasses
Mold diseases of plants are more rampant in locations where there is more moisture in the air, aka humidity. The following cool season grasses are susceptible to Brown Patch Fungus:
- Tall Fescue
- Hard Fescue
- Perennial Ryegrass
- Kentucky Bluegrass
Warm Season Grasses
Brown Patch Fungus can also affect warm season grass. The species of grass listed below have been known to be susceptible to them:
- Zoysia grass
- St Augustine grass
What Causes Brown Patch Lawns?
Brown patch is typically caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. However, multiple factors contribute to the emergence of this fungus.
Among these causes are the following:
- Over fertilization, which results in an excess of nitrogen
- Excessive irrigation
- There is little air movement
- Inadequate soil drainage
- Thatch formation
- Compacted soil over a lengthy period of time
“Brown Patch Fungus can wreak havoc on both lush, green lawns and poorly managed lawns. Improving environmental issues, such as enhancing air circulation, may sometimes be enough to eradicate a fungus problem.”
If the problem persists, you may need to use a stronger fungicide and reseed with fungal-resistant grasses. Consult your local lawn care before proceeding with this strategy.
Conditions that Lead to Having a Brown Patch Fungus
Several conditions can lead to the appearance of Brown Patch Fungus on the lawn. These factors include:
Prevalence of grubs on the lawn: Grubs are the larvae of beetles and are known to feed on roots below the soil. Over time, grass attacked by grubs will turn patchy brown. Grubs can be tackled with a relevant insecticide during the spring season.
Excessive Thatch buildup on the lawn: When thatch becomes too much on the lawn, it cuts off air flow and nutrient access to the plants on the soil. When this happens, mould in the form of Brown Patch Fungus appears on the lawn drying it out, leaving brown spots on it. Usually, dethatching the soil will gradually remedy this situation.
Overwhelming foot traffic or heavy items on the lawn: Brown Patch Fungus can become active when there’s much presence of human foot traffic on the lawn. Heavy items like vehicles or similar large equipment when left on the lawn can also be a causative factor.
Large quantities of animal urine: Urine contains a lot of nitrogen which can burn the grass, turning yellow or brown. It is important to stop your animals, whether pet or livestock from relieving urinal wastes on your lawn.
Effective Treatments to Treat Brown Patch Fungus
Fungal diseases are tough to treat but with consistent efforts, they can be history. Based on studies done, most lawn care providers use any one of these treatments to tackle Brown Patch disease.
Some effective treatments for brown patch fungus incidents:
Improve Lawn Maintenance:
Maintain the recommended height for your grass type. Taller grass blades can help shade the soil and prevent evaporation of rainwater. Organic lawn care practices in addition to proper mowing techniques from a lawn care service will take care of business.
Water deeply and sparingly to promote deep root growth. Release water in the early morning to allow the grass to dry during the day, reducing fungus growth.
During periods of increased disease risk, such as late spring or early summer, use preventive fungicides containing active components such as azoxystrobin, propiconazole, or myclobutanil.
Curative fungicides can be used if the brown patch is already evident. These may include medications with active components such as azoxystrobin, propiconazole, or flutolanil.
Aerating the soil improves air circulation and minimizes thatch formation, creating a less suitable environment for the brown patch fungus.
Optimize Air Circulation
For better air circulation, cut back overhanging branches and thin out dense foliage. This reduces humidity and hastens the drying of the grass.
Plant Resistant Grass Species:
Choose brown patch fungus-resistant grass species for overseeding or creating a new lawn. Consult a local nursery or extension office for recommendations appropriate for your area.
Adequate Nitrogen Use
Avoid using too much nitrogen fertilizer, especially during disease-prone times. High nitrogen levels might promote lush, succulent growth that is more prone to brown patch.
Thatch creates an ideal environment for disease growth. Dethatch the lawn on a regular basis to reduce thatch growth.
Improve Soil Health
Maintain good soil drainage to avoid soggy conditions that promote fungus growth. Maintain optimum soil pH and nutrient levels as well for optimal grass health.
Water your lawn early in the morning to allow the grass blades to dry fast. Watering in the late evening or at night should be avoided since prolonged leaf moisture promotes fungal growth.
Keep an Eye on Things and Act Quickly:
Inspect your grass on a regular basis for signs of brown patch fungus. If you observe symptoms like circular brown patches with a darker outer ring, act quickly to put control measures in place.
Preventative Strategies against Brown Patch Fungus
Brown patch fungus prevention requires a combination of regional habits, proper lawn care, and strategic planning. Here are some preventive measures:
Proper Lawn Care Methods:
Maintain the recommended height for your particular grass type. Taller grass shadows the soil, reducing humidity and creating a less suitable environment for fungus growth.
Do not cut more than one-third of a grass blade at a time during mowing. Infrequent, harsh mowing weakens the grass and makes it more susceptible to disease infection. Hiring a premier lawn care like GoMow Lawn Care Service takes care of your mowing challenge with ease.
Water your lawn early in the morning to allow the grass blades to dry fast. This reduces the likelihood of fungal growth by preventing extended leaf moisture.
Water deeply and infrequently rather than shallowly and regularly. This encourages deep root growth while discouraging surface dampness, which fungus thrives on.
Sufficient Air Flow
Tree and Shrub Pruning: Prune or thin out trees and shrubs to increase air circulation. Good air circulation allows grass blades to dry quickly, minimizing the development of brown patches.
Consistent Soil Aeration
Aerate your lawn on a regular basis to help with soil compaction. Compacted soil can hinder the absorption of water and nutrients, increasing the susceptibility of grass to illnesses.
Steer clear of over-fertilizing with nitrogen, particularly in times of high humidity. Without fostering undue leaf growth, balanced fertilizing improves the general health of the grass.
Consider Fungicidal Measures
Speak with an organic lawn care expert or your local lawn mowing service in Lakeway, TX about the prudent use of fungicides if your lawn has a history of brown patches and other preventative measures have failed.
Several treatment techniques already listed in this article are also effective preventive strategies as well. Preventing Brown Patch fungus are important in keeping your lawn green and beautiful most times of the season.
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