picture of damage from brown patchThe beauty of a lawn can be quickly destroyed by brown patch, which are serious fungal diseases that can affect all Austin lawn grasses. Brown patch is a turf grass disease that is caused by the Rhizoctonia species fungus. Generally symptoms of brown patch run rampant on cool season grasses during the late spring but it can also occur on these grasses during the warmer periods of the winter months.

Seen from above, the patch will look like a doughnut – a ring of tan grass having a patch of green grass in the center. Individual grass blades will be brown down to the crown – where the blade merges from the group – but the crown will be green. Grass blades will easily pull off of stolons in the grayish area. These patches can range in size from a few inches to several feet in diameter.

The best way to prevent brown patch in the home lawn is to avoid high rates of nitrogen fertilizer during the fall and winter. The disease-causing fungus readily attacks the lush growth of grass which nitrogen promotes. Diseases most often move from plant to plant in water, so deep water in the morning, which gives grass time to dry, is especially important. Irrigation should be reduced, especially late in the day during disease-activating periods. Aerating helps to remove extra thatch and brings with it better air circulation and water penetration.

The common themes of humid/damp conditions, over-watered lawns, dry lawns, and poorly maintained lawns can lead to unwanted fungus. To rid your turf of Brown Patch Fungus, you can do it yourself or hire an expert to guarantee results. Before you try doing it yourself, read up on the chemicals and treatment procedures available to a residential consumer.