How to Treat Brown Patch
Last updated: 09/01/2021
Estimated read time: 3 minutes
One of the most common lawn diseases around, brown patch can strike anywhere with the kind of seasonal humidity you’ll find in Maryland and Virginia. It seemingly appears out of nowhere and can devastate your lawn without proper treatments. Still, brown patch disease is far from a death sentence for your grass—and with a little knowledge and practice, you’ll know exactly what to do!
What is Brown Patch Lawn Disease?
Appropriate to its name, the lawn disease manifests itself in round, brown spots on your lawn, ranging anywhere from a few inches to several feet in diameter, giving sections of grass the appearance of being dead. While it’s unnerving to wake up one morning to find your yard covered in unsightly brown circles, the condition’s distinctiveness is also what makes it easy to identify. This way, you can apply the proper treatments quickly, reversing the effects altogether.
What causes Brown Patch?
Brown patch is actually a fungus, specifically the widespread Rhizoctonia Solani. While brown patch fungus seems to appear overnight, the fungus’ spores can lie dormant in even the healthiest soil for years. During this time, it’s inactive and causes no harm to your grass but is simply waiting for the ideal conditions to spread. Once those conditions arrive though, the spores activate, causing brown patches in your lawn. The commonality of the fungus and its patient nature mean that most varieties of turfgrass are vulnerable to an infestation. Click here to read the 6 most common things that cause brown spot disease.
How To Get Rid of Brown Patch
Fortunately, there are many easy ways to prevent and control brown patch. A few of the surest methods include:
- Moisture management: Excess moisture can easily trigger the fungus’ spores to hatch. This means that applying proper watering techniques, as well as ensuring that your lawn has proper drainage, can prevent brown patch from ever developing.
- Proper fertilization: Particularly during the warmer months, excessive fertilization can cause a brown patch infestation. While your grass may appreciate the extra nutrition, an overabundance of nutrients in the soil can cause brown patch’s spores to activate and spread.
- Lawn aeration: A well-aerated lawn is one of the best defenses against brown patch disease. When aerated correctly, your grass is exposed to less standing water and can access soil nutrients more easily, siphoning them away from fungus spores. Additionally, quality lawn aeration leads to an overall healthier plant from root to stem, enabling your grass to fight off disease and fungus with ease.
- Targeted fungicide application: While many techniques exist to prevent brown patch disease, judicious application of a quality fungicide is never a bad idea once an infestation occurs. Just be sure to consult with a lawn care professional to make sure that it’s necessary and, if so, that you’re using a reliable product before getting started.
- The right type of grass: Many grass varieties are engineered for greater resistance to the fungus that causes brown patch. So if your lawn is victimized by recurring infections, reseeding your lawn with a resistant grass variety may be a worthwhile step.
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