With the recent spring rains, be on the lookout for Brown Patch turf disease soon in Carolina lawns. High humidities, excessive rainfall, and warm temperatures are the perfect ingredients for turf disease such as Brown Patch to develop.
There are three things that must be present for turf disease to occur…..a susceptible host, fungi present, and the right weather conditions. Fescue is a good host for Brown Patch, with some varieties more succeptable than others. Even bermduagrass can get Brown Patch in severe cases, along with Large Patch that is often found on zoysiagrass lawns. Fungi are present just about everywhere, waiting for the right conditions to grow. Fungi love warm, wet, humid weather, which is what we’ve been experiencing a lot of here lately, and will probably continue on into June.
We’ve had many of our lawncare customers, especially with fescue, experience Brown Patch problems in their turf, with yellow to brown splotchy areas developing and wilting of the turf. We can’t control the rainfall and humidity, so disease is going to happen under certain conditions. A turf fungicide can be applied on a preventative and curative basis, but these typically have about a 2-4 week residual. So repeat treatments are often needed for best results. Turf off your irrigation system and let the turf dry out some. When mowing, remove the grass clippings, to help remove some of the fungi present and allow better air circulation within the turf.
When it typically becomes hotter and drier in July, the disease pressure will go away usually. Fescue overseeding season is just a few months away in September, so damaged turf can be renovated with new seeding done then.