It’s Brown patch disease! A condition caused by a single species of fungus, Rhizoctonia, that often occurs in early to late summer when the weather is hot and humid here in Virginia and the surrounding areas.
How do I know it is Brown Patch?
Brown patch appears as irregular circular patches in the lawn that are brownish yellow in color and range from 6 inches to several feet in diameter. The affected leaves usually remain upright, and close inspection shows lesions on the leaves that are tan in color and irregular in shape with a dark brown border.
What Causes Brown Patch?
The Rhizoctonia fungus may be present for some time in the soil before it manifests as brown patch disease.
Rhizoctonia is most likely to cause brown patch during the periods of high temperature and high humidity in mid- to late-summer when night-time temperatures remain above 68° F and daytime temperatures are routinely in the 80s or above. Periods of rainy weather like we have had here in Northern Virginia in May, when the air is saturated with moisture is conducive to a Brown Patch outbreak.
How can you prevent and control Brown Patch?
Some of the conditions that are conducive to brown patch are beyond the homeowner’s control. Air temperatures and humidity levels for instance.
But here are some tips to help!
- Do not over-fertilize. Feeding your lawn during hot and humid weather should be avoided.
- Use proper watering practices. If you water, do it early in the day so the grass can dry out fully before nightfall. If dew is collecting on your lawn each morning, your lawn probably does not need to be irrigated at all. Standing dew can be removed by dragging a water hose over the lawn, which will lower the humidity that causes brown patch disease.
- Improve air circulation. The best way to do this is to have the NuLeaf aerate the lawn annually. This will improved air circulation
- Reseed with NuLeaf Lawn Care’s resistant grass cultivars after aeration in the Fall.
- Sign up for NuLeaf Lawn Care’s fungicide program. Our 4 visit preventative program covers your through the hot humid months of the summer. If you have not signed up but see brown patch disease present it is not to late. Contact NuLeaf and we will send out a certified professional to investigate and prepare a corrective course of action.