Well, it is that time of the year again. From now until the end of September all of our lawns are susceptible to many different turf diseases. All of these diseases are activated by weather conditions that are favorable for their development. The number one problem in fescue lawns is brown patch. (Bermuda, centipede, and zoysia are more tolerant but none of the less susceptible.) Below is information about the disease and what you can do to help reduce the potential damage to your lawn.
Brown patch fungus is a soil-borne organism that attacks grass during periods of high humidity and moderate to high temperatures. The disease is active only at night when evening temperatures remain over 67 degrees. As we begin to experience normal summer weather (85 degrees or greater during the day, upper 60’s or greater at night) the soils warm up and activate the disease. Extended periods of rain, overcast skies, and warm weather favor the occurrence of brown patch.
The fungus usually damages grass in circular patterns of a few inches to several feet in diameter. Normally the affected grass will have a mottled brown appearance. If conditions persist for its continued activity the grass may die.
WHAT YOU CAN DO THAT DOES NOT COST MONEY
Mild cases of brown patch may recover with improved cultural practices. First, you should withhold water until the soil dries. Then water thoroughly (long periods) to wet the soil deeply. Avoid light, frequent watering which may keep the lawn too wet. Water mid-day 9 AM-2 PM so that the grass can dry before evening. Do not water in the evenings. Wet grass will encourage disease activity. Always mow at the recommended height 3 ½ – 4 inches with a sharp blade.
WHAT WE CAN DO
We can control the disease with the use of fungicides. For continual control, this product must be applied every 21-28 days. We will apply individual applications on a requested basis. To keep this discoloration out of you lawn all summer, you should call the office (865-588-4497). We will be identifying disease problems and leaving information on all of our lawns as they receive their regular applications. Once again don’t hesitate to call 588-4497 to discuss more!
For more information about brown patch, read here.