How to Treat Brown Patch

Brown patch is a soil-born fungus. It's not something that comes from your mower (or your lawn guy's mower) or from someone tracking it in your yard.

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Photo courtesy of Clemson.

There are 2 main factors that have to be right for brown patch to flourish:

  • Warm humid nights
  • High temperatures during the day

When the air temperature and humidity add up to about 150, we start seeing brown patch. Typically, we see brown patch starting around the middle of May and will go through the summer months while temperatures are high.

Tips to combat brown patch

  • Water early in the morning so it has time to dry throughout the day. A wet lawn going into evening is just inviting brown patch
  • When mowing, make sure your mower blades are sharp. Dull blades will shred the grass blades giving disease more entry points to get into grass and roots.
  • When fertilizing, reduce rates of nitrogen during the summer. Brown patch is a fungus that feeds on nitrogen, so restricting the amount of nitrogen you put down this time of year will slow down the progress.
  • Having a good healthy soil biology also helps to reduce the chances of seeing brown patch.

Use a fungicide when treating for brown patch

There are many options when it comes to choosing a fungicide. Whatever you choose, you'll most likely be doing at least a few treatments until you see signs of improvement. Most good fungicides will last 28-30 days, and a less expensive fungicide will only last 10-14 days. Keep in mind that it will help in disease control to alternate fungicides (you don't have to alternate every treatment, but every season is helpful) to prevent a buildup of resistance. If you've never applied fungicide before, get a liquid. You'll have better control.

Have questions? Call the experts at Pure Green.

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