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Brown Patch Fungus (Disease) Season!

Brown patch fungus activates in late April/early May and will continue to around September every year.  However, it is not uncommon to see fescue turf disease into October and November if conditions are still favorable. It is always better to control turf and ornamental diseases preventively vs. curatively (after the disease has started).   Brown… Read more »

Brown patch fungus activates in late April/early May and will continue to around September every year.  However, it is not uncommon to see fescue turf disease into October and November if conditions are still favorable. It is always better to control turf and ornamental diseases preventively vs. curatively (after the disease has started).  

Brown Patch Fungus activates within a distinct set of climatic parameters.  Brown Patch will activate when the temperatures are above 73 degrees with high atmospheric moisture.  This moisture can be in the form of rainfall, irrigation or humidity.

Signs of Brown Patch will be an off color turf similar to drought stress, lesions on the leaf blade, browning of the turf in circles or areas.  The easiest way to identify Brown Patch is to stand away from the lawn and look for a shadow appearance on the lawn. Once you identify the area of concern, look closely at the leaf blades of the plant for tan or brown lesions.  If you see these lesions more than likely you have Brown Patch or other leaf spot fungus. Drought stress can be mistaken for Brown Patch. Drought stress will make the leaves fold at the center giving the leaf blade a straw appearance.

Unfortunately, fescue has little resistance to Brown Patch Fungus.  Several seed companies are currently trying to increase their turf type fescue varieties to have resistance to Brown Patch Fungus.  However, breeding programs take years to develop successful new varieties of turf type fescue.

There are a couple things you can do to help reduce Brown Patch activity.   Avoid watering past 2:30 pm. This will give the plant time to dry before nightfall.  Cut lawn on a regular basis and at the proper height. This will allow more air circulation across the leaf blade.  

A fungicide can be applied that will arrest the fungus for approximately 21 to 28 days.  If the fungicide is applied before damage is done to the leaf blade or plant, the fungicide will give the plant time to recover.   Due to the high humidity level in this part of the country, Brown Patch can go active again after the fungicide has expired in about 25 days.  Another application will be necessary to prevent damage to the plant from Brown Patch Fungus.

If you have had a fungicide application within 21 days, you are still protected.

Many people utilize our Preventative Fungicide Program to prevent major damage to their turf. The cost to apply Fungicide to your lawn is two times your normal application price.  If you decide to apply a fungicide yourself, fungicides can be purchased at most home and garden stores. However, many of the products available do not last as long and do not work well as a curative (once the disease is active).

Please contact us or log on to your customer portal as soon as possible if you want us to apply a fungicide to the lawn or if you have additional questions.  

Thank you for your business!