Brown Patch

Brown patch starts as a small, circular spot which quickly spreads outwards.  The circles can range in size from a couple of inches to a couple of feet.  It begins as yellow and continues to darken as the turf dies.  Many times, as the fungus grows outward, the inside of the circle will start to recover.  This gives the appearance of a “smoke ring”, a characteristic of brown patch (although not always present).

brown patch5                                      brown patch leaf

Did you know that:

  • Brown patch is one of the most common fungal diseases in a lawn.
  • It is most prominent in the summer, when heat and humidity are high.
  • The fungus grows when conditions are wet and humid.
  • Excessive nitrogen also encourages the problem.
  • The fungus destroys the tissue at the base of the leaf, not the root or crown.
  • It can lie dormant in the soil for years without affecting the grass.
  • Affected grass will show leaf tip browning and leaf lesions.

Below are some cultural ways to control brown patch:

  • Water early in the morning to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
  • Aerate to ensure good drainage and avoid compaction.
  • Control thatch with regular de-thatching and/or aerating.
  • Avoid fast-release nitrogen fertilizers.
  • Cut back surrounding bushes to allow more sunlight to the area.

Do you have a problem with lawn fungus?

Call Sterling Insect / Lawn Control @ (207) 767-5555.