Research shows that maintaining and enhancing your landscape can boost a home’s value by up to 15%. The amount that you spend on landscaping often determines how much your property’s worth will increase. Experts suggest spending 10% of your home’s value to increase its appraisal by the same percentage. You can put some of that budget into treating a dry patch problem on your lawn.
What Are Brown Patches On My Grass?
An unsightly patch of lawn is one of the first things that potential buyers will see. Therefore, you need to know why you’re getting Brown Patches on your grass so that you can stop the problem. The solution could be as simple as taking your dog to another area to do its business. But other lawn diseases can cause patches, and you should take care of them before you lose your lush lawn altogether.
Types Of Lawn Fungus
There are eight major types of fungus that can affect St. Augustine grass, which is what most people grow in Pinellas County, Florida. Brown Patch and Take-All Root Rot are the two that we will discuss in-depth.
Take-All Root Rot
Take-all root rot is a detrimental condition caused by the soil-borne Gaeumannomyces graminis fungus. It spreads through the stolons and roots of infected St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. As the turf becomes diseased, it dies off, turning yellow and wilting into Brown Patches up to 20 feet in diameter. If you pull up the grass in the patch, you’ll notice that the roots are stunted and rotten.
The fungus responsible for Brown Patch is Rhizoctonia. The affected areas gradually change from green to yellow and then to orange and tan. A circular Brown Patch of lawn may expand, leaving small green tufts in the center.
Why Does My Lawn Have Brown Patches?
Your Florida lawn likely has Brown Patches because it has one of these patch fungi living in it. When the conditions are ripe for this fungus to take over, it will.
How To Prevent & Treat Lawn Fungus
Once you see one patch or several, it’s too late to prevent it. However, there are ways to treat visible fungal turf disease. If your lawn is still green and lush, practice preventative measures to avoid losing it to Brown Patch or Take-All Root Rot.
1. Water On Schedule
Is your lawn looking parched because you forgot to water it? Perhaps you attempted to compensate by overwatering. Drenching your lawn with more water than it can handle leaves extra moisture hanging around the area. Plus, irregular watering causes warm-season grasses to develop thatch, a layer of tough, dry grass blades that covers the soil. The moisture that can become trapped under thatch creates the perfect condition in which patch fungi thrive. Water during the day so that the property has time to dry before nightfall. Avoid watering during periods of rainy weather.
2. Mow High
Have you ever felt frazzled after an over-ambitious haircut? Grass also becomes stressed when it is cut too short. Weak grass is vulnerable to patch fungus. Remove only one-third of the grass length at a time. This may mean that you have to mow more frequently in warm or rainy weather.
3. Reduce Heavy Thatch
Thatch is basically dead grass that chokes off healthy, green blades as they try to grow. Dethatch with a rake or power dethatching tool. Do this in the spring and fall to manage and prevent patch fungus. Discard the debris and clean the blades of the tool to avoid spreading the spores.
4. Fertilize Properly
Over-fertilizing can green up your lawn quickly. But it’s worse than a TV makeover; your grass is still the same underneath, and the roots may not support the rapid growth. Under-fertilizing prevents your grass from developing strong roots and leaves.
5. Ensure Proper Drainage
A wet lawn is an invitation for turf disease. Make sure that your property is graded correctly so that water doesn’t pool and create patch problems.
6. Apply A Fungicide
Fungicides are used to prevent and treat Brown Patch and Take-All Root Rot. They work best when combined with other preventative measures.
7. Maintain A Healthy Lawn
If your lawn has symptoms of other diseases or impairments, take care of them. An unhealthy lawn acts like you do when you’re sick. It may not whine as much, but it is more susceptible to other ailments and patch problems.
Grasses Commonly Affected
Brown patch and Take-All Root Rot usually affect St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. They can also damage cool-season grasses, such as rye and fescue.
When To Seek Professional Lawn Treatment For Brown Patch
You should contact a professional whenever you notice an affected patch of lawn. Brown patch lawn can spread throughout your property and neighborhood. A professional will help you develop an effective treatment plan.
Natural Green: Disease Control Experts
Natural Green helps keep Florida lawns green and healthy. We use organic products and offer landscaping services to maintain an attractive yard that adds to your home’s value.
FAQs About Lawn Fungus
If you’re already dealing with a patch lawn fungus, these questions should guide you toward a solution.
How Do You Get Rid Of Brown Patch Fungus?
Brown patch fungus can be treated with appropriate lawn care and fungicides. Throw out all lawn clippings so that you don’t spread the disease.
What Is The Best Fungicide For Brown Patch?
We recommend using a systemic fungicide on Brown Patch and Take-All Root Rot. But make sure the product you select has this fungus listed on the label.
How Do I Treat Brown Spots In My Lawn?
Treat a patchy lawn by identifying the problem first. If fungus is to blame, treat it with appropriate fungicides. At the same time, take steps to boost your turf’s overall health, such as mowing to a longer length, watering adequately and fertilizing correctly. If you notice problems such as thatch or compacted soil, correct those issues to support healthy grass growth.
Can Lawn Recover From Brown Patch?
With the right treatment and preventative maintenance, a lawn can recover from Brown Patch. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to treat Brown Patch with fungicide. Patch fungi can become resistant to certain treatments if they’re used improperly.