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How To Control Brown PatchBrown patch

Have you taken a step outside your yard and noticed that what was once a lush green turf now has an unsightly brown spot? This may very well be a fungus disease that goes by the name of brown patch and if left untreated, they may be more than one of those ugly brown spots creeping up which can make your lawn look in awful condition.

Brown Patch is a common lawn disease and can become a widespread problem in the summer time due to the rising temperatures. This disease is caused by Rhizoctonia solani fungus and has the capacity to infect a number of different turfgrass species but the most susceptible grass species include perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and multiple bentgrasses. Brown Patch can become an especially troublesome problem in the mid-to-late summer during longer periods of high heat and humidity.

Brown patch is characterized by spotting on the leaf blades which can bleed together to turn the leaf brown and circular areas of brown or dead grass outlined by a narrow, dark ring. Different types of grass are affected in different ways and the disease can very quickly spread without intervention.

If your lawn has brown patch, you’ve come to the right place. Solutions Pest and Lawn has everything you need to restore your lawn and eliminate brown patch.

How To Get Rid Of Brown Patch: 3 Step Solution brown patch

Treating a lawn disease like brown patch can be quite difficult to maintain without the right products and correct approach to combat the disease. However, even if you buy quality products to treat the disease merely spraying a fungicide around on the turf is not enough to fix the problem. The most important factor in treating a lawn disease is timing. Identifying and treating a fungus like brown patch early can save your lawn and garden. Below we have outlined 3 basic steps to follow to successfully conduct a DIY treatment to neutralize brown patch.


Step 1: To begin with you first need to be sure that the disease is for certain brown patch.  We’ve described how it looks above but if you are not entirely sure that you have brown patch, you can get in touch with us and take a photo of the grass and send to identification@solutionsstores.com and we will respond back with a correct ID of the fungus and recommend you products and tips to treat the disease correctly.


Step 2: Once you are for certain you are dealing with brown patch, you can then equip yourself with the right fungicides to eliminate it. We have a number of different concentrates which we carry in stock which can effectively remove brown patch from your lawn. The key is to act fast. Equip yourself with a hand-pump sprayer and mix the concentrate according to the label. Spray liberally over the infected plants and check back to see if the product is working. You may have to re-apply fungicides a few times to provide continuous control of anthracnose. Retreat if you begin to see symptoms again. We also suggest wearing the proper safety equipment for the job to prevent chemicals from coming in contact with your eyes or skin. Gloves, safety goggles and long sleeved clothing should suffice.


Step 3: Once the brown patch has been wiped out from your lawn, you must work to keep it from coming back by practicing organic control measures and routine maintenance. Keeping plants healthy by providing proper light, water and fertilizer will strengthen the plant’s ability to ward off a fungus attack.


Browse our brown patch control products below. If you have any questions or concerns, send them our way via email, phone, or online live chat and we will be happy to assist you.


Learn More About Brown Patchbrown patch problem

If you see browning of your grass in certain spots on your yard, you may feel that your grass is not getting enough water or the heat of the sun is doing a number on it.


However, what some people may not realize is that the browning may be occuring because of a fungal disease which has emerged onto your lawn turf known commonly as brown patch.


Brown patch lawn disease is regarded by many as the most troublesome of all lawn diseases and fungus which can appear on a residential yard or commercial landscape.


Brown patch is a sneaky lawn disease, many times creeping right under our noses and has the potential to cause destruction to large areas of turf virtually overnight if the weather conditions are ideal to allow it to do so.


Brown patch is not a picky lawn disease as it will readily attack and overtake a wide range of grass species. Brown patch particularly enjoys lawns which receive ample amounts of quick release nitrogen fertilizer.


Your once beautiful and healthy lawn can quickly become an ugly eyesore when brown patch has established itself on the land so actions should be taken to address the issue and keep it from spreading.


What Is Brown Patch?

Brown patch is a fungal disease which is caused by numerous strains of Rhizoctonia solani and can detrimentally affects all cool season turfgrass species. It is a foliar disease which does not affect crowns or roots but rather affects the point of attachment where the blade attaches to the stolon.


The stolon is the runner that you see on st. augustinegrass, centipede grass and even zoysiagrass. What the stolon does is that it’s kind of a centerpoint in that the roots come downward off of it and the blades go upward on it.


What happens when brown patch takes hold is that the stolon and the roots actually stay healthy but that point of attachment where the blade attaches to the stolon becomes rotted and that rot and decay is what earns its name, brown patch.


Moderate to severe outbreaks of brown patch are known to occur on high-maintenance creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass which generally leads to thin, poor quality grass that may be vulnerable to algae and moss infestation.


When brown patch appears on golf tees and putting greens, even the smallest outbreak can ruin the appearance and sticks out like a sore thumb. Turfgrasses which are mowed at a higher height for athletic fields and professional landscapes (especially tall fescue and perennial ryegrass) also may sustain damage from brown patch infection.


READ MORE: Check out the rest of our Lawn Care category for more helpful info!


Characteristics and Symptoms Of Brown Patchbrown patch lawn

When conditions in the environment are idea, brown patch can literally develop overnight. On creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass greens and tees, brown patch development results in rounded olive green stains, ranging from 4 to 12 inches in diameter. Leaf blades within the patch turn brown after infection, while a gray-white band is normally evident at the perimeter of active patches .


The doughnut-shaped patch(commonly known as a smoke ring) is caused by advancing mycelium and infected leaves that have been soaked with water. Smoke rings may occur on taller mown turf, but are much less evident.


In certain situations, brown patch also causes large areas of turf to be uniformly thinned out and with the passage of time, killed with no circular patch being evident. These types of symptoms are usually observed on infected St. Augustinegrass grown in shady, humid regions.


Upon close inspection of cool-season grass, you may notice blades which have small, irregular, tan leaf spots with dark-brown borders. Bentgrass may not show individual markings, but leaves will turn brown and shrivel. Infected warm-season grasses rarely have leaf spots but instead have rotted leaf sheaths near the soil surface.


Brown Patch Thrives In The Summer

Though brown patch may be present in different parts of the year it is a summer disease. Brown  patch activates during hot, humid periods when temperatures are above 65 degrees. The most active times that brown patch grows is between 80-85 degrees when humidity levels are on the high side.

Brown patch fungi can survive through the winter in thatch and enter the leaf tissue through wounds caused via mowing or by traveling through the pores (also known as the stomata) when day temperatures reach the 70s.


Turfgrass affected by brown patch can go quite some time without showing damage but once the daytime temperatures reach the mid 80s and nighttime air temperatures stay above 70°, the grass will be under stress. Then, lawn disease damage can become visible almost immediately.


Once brown patch has established itself on a turf, it will begin to spread rapidly. Diseased turf initially appear water soaked with leaf edges showing a wavy or wilted pattern, but soon dies completely and mats down, creating a sinking effect.


The brown patch pathogen produces no spores. As a result, the disease spreads by radial expansion of mycelium over leaf blades and by mechanical maintenance practices.


How To Inspect Brown Patch On Your Lawn

The local weather conditions play a large role in how brown patch develops more than any other factor.


If there is a long period of humid weather conditions where dew is left on the turf for longer than typical amount of time, as well as warmer evening temperatures craft the ideal environment for brown patch to take over on your lawn. Development can begin in as quickly as one or two days.


When the weather is like how we described above, that would be the best time to go out and  examine your lawn to see if brown patch is present, since it will not likely develop in your yard under different conditions. Observe carefully and check to see if there’s anything that stands out on your lawn, such as discoloration.


Due to brown patch being a summer disease which affects plants in the fall, there’s no time better than between late spring and early fall to check for the beginnings of brown patch forming on your lawn.


So what exactly should you be looking for? In particular, you should be on the lookout for large, uneven round patches of grass which have been browned and are surrounded by a dark, purplish border.


The individual leaf blades will have lesions that are not any particular shape. If you are not sure if you have brown patch or are having trouble accurately identifying it on your lawn, you can contact us at identification@solutionsstores.com. Take a photo of your turf and send it our way and we will provide you with the proper identification as well as offer recommendations of products to treat the disease.


Approaching Brown Patch Control

Brown patch is a fairly easy disease to treat. Successful elimination of brown patch on your lawn will take a combination of implementing helpful lawn care practices and application of a fungicide labeled for brown patch control.


Solutions Pest & Lawn has many different products that can treat brown patch. The important thing about approaching brown patch control is that it is best to treat it preventatively. It’s much harder to get rid of brown patch once it’s firmly established than when it isn’t yet on your lawn.


From year to year if you have brown patch, you’re going to get it again next year because you can’t cure it, you can only treat the symptoms which are the blades releasing from that stolon and if that happens continually from year to year the grass will weaken and eventually you’ll be dealing with a dead spot on the lawn.


Lawn Care Practices For Brown Patch Controlfertilizing your lawn

Some things you can do to make it so brown patch will not target your lawn is environmental modification. This can involve things like avoiding excess nitrogen application when fertilizing your lawn during the summer. This will help to reducing disease pressure and help improve the performance of any fungicide you decide to use on your turf.


Improving air circulation and scheduling a regular watering to avoid long dew periods also help hinder the chances of brown patch outbreaks.


Best Fungicides For Brown Patch Control

Solutions Pest & Lawn has a variety of effective fungicides which are labeled for brown patch control. When selecting a fungicide, make sure to educate yourself on other lawn fungus and disease threats and apply fungicides for these threats at the same time to minimize costs and other potential disease problems.


Proper treating is time sensitive so when you want to treat is when the weather makes that significant change where temperatures are about 70 degrees. Depending on where you are, late summer can be around september 1st.  


Typically, applications are made at 14- to 28-day intervals, depending upon the fungicide selected. Continue application as often as the product label allows (usually every 2-4 weeks) until you no longer see the disease developing.


Preventing The Return of Brown Patch

If you don’t want brown patch to come back, changing some of your cultural practices will help to fend off reinfestation. Avoid summer fertilization and early evening watering to help limit brown patch development.


You should also anticipate weather conditions that may encourage brown patch development by keeping an eye on the weather forecast. When you do decide to use fertilizer, make sure not to allow excess nitrogen on your soil


Another thing you can do is increase sunlight and air circulation by removing thick, unnecessary foliage, trimming bushes and trees properly, etc. These thoughtful lawn maintenance tasks will ensure brown patch doesn’t return.

Additional Resources:

Brown Patch | Texas Plant Disease Handbook

Brown Patch — Center for Turfgrass Science — Penn State University

Brown Patch - Purdue Extension - Purdue University

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