Lawns affected by brown patch disease have circular patches of brown or dead grass that appear in the form of brown patches. This condition is caused by Rhizoctonia solani, a fungus that thrives in humid, warm weather. There are many types of grass that can be affected by brown patch disease, including Bermuda grass, and zoysia grass. It is more common during the summer months. 

A lawn that is overwatered has poor drainage, or has too much fertilizer is more likely to suffer from Brown Patch disease. Infection can also be spread by mowing and other lawn care practices, as well as through contact with infected soil or equipment. Treatment for brown patch disease, which can cause lawn damage and look unsightly, can include fungicides and other approaches.

Brown Patch Signs 

The Brown Patch results in large patches of brown grass that are visible to the naked eye. Although it is called a "brown patch," the disease usually manifests as yellowish-brown patches with dark outer rings. During the early morning hours, the rings appear darker. If grass blades are exposed to dewy, moist conditions, they sometimes develop white fungus.

Brown patches can survive freezing temperatures, but they prefer warm climates with temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees. Brown patches may occur on lawns that have been damp for a long time.

Prevention of brown patch disease?

Avoid High Amounts of Nitrogen Fertilizer: 

It is likely that brown patch fungus will appear even before spring greens up, particularly in Bermudagrass lawns. Dead, tan grass patches appear in circular shapes up to 3 feet in diameter, rising from the ground. Approximately 20 feet wide, the patches are surrounded by dark, dying grass with smoky margins.

In order to prevent brown patches in your yard, fertilization is essential. It is possible for brown patches to develop when your soil has an excess of nitrogen due to too much nitrogen fertilizer.

Utilize a low nitrogen fertilizer rate during the growing season, and do not apply fertilizers during warm, humid weather when the brown patch fungus thrives. A combination of high humidity and hot temperatures during spring and fall promotes the development of brown patch disease.

Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn in the summer to prevent brown patches.

Water Your Lawn Early in the Day

Every week, lawns need about an inch of water to maintain their health. Watering the grass can lead to fungus growing there, but the faster the grass dries, the less likely fungus will spread. Watering your lawn in the morning will dry it completely by nightfall.

For example, when you run a sprinkler at night, you create ideal conditions for diseases to flourish. You will risk a dry lawn when you water too lightly, preventing the grassroots from growing deep enough when the weather gets hot.

If your lawn is brown and patchy or appears dull green, it's telling you it needs water. To keep your lawn watered (hydrated), here you can follow these steps:

  • Weed, insect and disease control:

Mowing your lawn regularly will reduce fertilizer, insecticide, and herbicide usage. It is essential that you use these mowing techniques to keep your yard grass healthy, discourage insects, crowd out weeds, and avoid fungal diseases.

Overseed Your Lawn

The grass on your lawn gets old over time and needs to be replaced. Lawns that are worn out are more prone to weeds and brown patch disease, especially in the warmer months. Planting grass seed or other related grass directly into an existing lawn without cutting up the grass or disturbing the soil is called overseeding.

For preventing brown patches during overseeding, keep these things in mind:

  •  Maintain a two-inch minimum grass height

Maintain a two-inch minimum height for your mower. When you mow the lawn, rake it to loosen the top layer of soil, remove dead grass and debris, and loosen up any remaining soil. After germination, the grass seed will have easy access to the soil, allowing it to root more quickly. Compost piles or mulch can be created from grass clippings.

  • The grass seed you choose depends on your existing grass type. 

Use a product specially designed for thickening thin lawns if your lawn is composed of cool-season grasses. A Turf Managers neighbor can help you choose the right mix of grass for your lawn if you have warm-season grass or are not sure what will work for your area.