Patchy grass can be one of the most unexpected and annoying things that can come with lawn maintenance. While your initial thought may be that it just needs a little bit more TLC, that’s not always the case. What you could have on your hands is known as brown patch fungus or large patch disease. Named for the dreadful color it displays, it is caused by a species of fungi called Rhizoctonia, which thrives in hot and humid weather. And while the thought of it can make you want to run for the hills, this pesky fungus is no match for Sterling Pest Control, Orlando’s finest pest control agency!
How To Identify Brown Patch Fungus
Brown patch fungus doesn’t start off being brown. It initially shows up as yellow, misshapen streaks in your yard that are oval or disk-like. As the infestation progresses, the color changes from yellow to orange and then eventually brown. The fungus is essentially rotting the grass from the inside out, causing discoloration to occur.
Brown patch fungus does not discriminate. It can be observed in all cool-season grasses and certain warm-season grasses, including zoysiagrass, Bermuda, and St. Augustine. However, it has been observed to be more detrimental to tall fescue and ryegrass.
Unfortunately, if you can spot brown patch fungus in your lawn, your problems have just begun. The fungus is alive and well in your yard, and it far exceeds what meets the eye. This is why the best way to fight it is to prevent it in the first place.
How To Prevent It
Humid weather is the friend of brown patch fungus. It flourishes best when lawns remain damp for at least 48 hours or more. This makes late summer, excessive rainfall, and irrigation the perfect opportunity for the fungus to do grave damage. The key to preventing this is to focus on what is in your control. For instance, sprinklers should only be used in place of rainfall to avoid overwatering of the lawn.
However, once your lawn gets infected, it puts you at a much greater risk of reoccurrence. If this is the case for you and you regularly find yourself fighting off the big bad brown patch fungus monster, then consider speaking with your landscaper about a regular prophylactic fungicide application.
And even if it hasn’t reared its ugly head in your lawn as of yet, it is still essential to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to ensure the health of your yard.
How To Contain It
Although lawn recovery doesn’t happen overnight, it is possible to bring your yard back to life after infection. First, fungicide must be applied to the area to prevent the fungus from advancing to other parts of the yard. Second, the site must be allowed to regrow, which will take time. During this time, you must ensure you are not unintentionally spreading the fungus. This includes not cutting, maintenance, or walking over or near the area. And lastly, while your lawn recovers, you must not use fertilizers so as not to sustain the fungus.
While self-diagnosis of brown patch fungus can be the first step in solving your lawn problems, having experienced lawn care professionals on your team is pertinent to a fast and efficient recovery. Our team at Sterling Pest Control is committed to making all of your lawn troubles disappear! Call us today at (407) 277- 7378 or drop by our Orlando location.