If your St Augustine lawn has developed circular patches of dead, brown or dying areas of turf, then the most likely cause for these brown patches will be a lawn fungus disease called Brown Patch.
Brown Patch lawn disease is triggered in a similar manner and time of year as the Leaf Spot disease. These times will mainly be in the warmer months when humidity can be higher, however Brown Patch may not always be seen in the heat of Summer, but will instead be most common in the Fall season.
Brown Patch lawn disease will become most active and aggressive when experiencing its peak growing conditions, which is when excess water continues to sit on the lawn for long periods of time under humid conditions. And these peak fungus growing conditions are usually brought on by ourselves when we water lawns at night time, combined with higher temperatures.
Brown Patch will be identified by circular dying patches of lawn which will continue to grow in size from the size of a dinner plate up to a few feet in diameter. Multiple circles of Brown Patch are common on Saint Augustine lawns infected by the disease.
The brown and dying leaf of the St Augustine grass will also pull away from the grass stem very easily. On inspection, the lower part of the dead leaf will appear as a rotting dark brown color.
Prevention is the key to stopping all lawn diseases in a St Augustine lawn, and many of the same preventative measures which stop Brown Patch from taking hold in a lawn will also be the cure.
Here are the key steps to treating Brown Patch:
- Water only in the morning
- Try to reduce watering as much as possible until the disease is gone
- Aerate the soil in the affected areas
- Stop fertilization until the lawn is recovered
- Apply a fungicide if necessary.
Fungicides are available for Brown Patch lawn diseaese treatment on St Augustine grass, and should be used if cultural management methods do not control the disease on their own. Remember the golden rule of lawn fungicides - they are only ever to be used in conjunction with proper lawn care practices (cultural management practices). Otherwise the disease will continue to reoccur under the same conditions.
The lawn must remain strong to help fight and prevent fungal lawn diseases in conjunction with the fungicide. And unless proper lawn care practices are put into place, the St Augustine lawn will remain highly susceptible to ongoing infections of Brown Patch and all other lawn diseases.
Contact us at 281-217-1342 for a free evaluation.