The average lawn sometimes experiences brown patches, whether they’re caused by dehydration or something more sinister. Brown patch fungus is one of the more serious culprits, and if you’ve found it on your lawn, you probably want it gone.
What is brown patch fungus? Brown patch fungus, also known as Rhizoctonia fungus, is a foliar disease that attacks the blades of grass on your lawn. It affects many types of grass but doesn’t always need chemical intervention to get rid of, depending on its severity.
If you’ve noticed brown spots on your lawn and you’re certain this fungus is to blame, have no fear. We’ve got some tips you can use to get rid of it and prevent it from returning in the future, for a fungus-free lawn that’s as healthy as ever.
What is Brown Patch Fungus?
The Rhizoctonia fungus is to blame for brown patch disease, and more specifically, the Rhizoctonia solani fungus.
The disease is predominantly found on the leaves of grass, but won’t attack the plant or root system, so although it’s unsightly, the damage won’t be as deep as other types of fungus.
Brown patch disease is caused by a fungal growth that is especially active during hot and humid weather.
People usually spot the fungus on their lawn during the warmer seasons, especially during mid to late summer, and want to take action to rectify it immediately.
If you have cool-season grass, you’ll find this fungus particularly damaging, including tall fescue and ryegrass. On the other hand, lawns with fine fescues and Kentucky bluegrass won’t have much damage at all, so it depends on what you’re growing.
How to Get Rid of Brown Patch Fungus
After assessing the brown patch disease on your lawn, you might decide it’s time for treatment. If you want to get rid of these unsightly patches for good, these are the steps to take:
As soon as you see any brown patches arrive, apply your chosen fungicide to them. This will usually be in the warmer months, like mid to late summer, and should be treated immediately.
Reseed over the dead grass patches with a grass species that are more resilient to fungus. This can take a year or two to work and will need to be over a few fall seasons.
If you want to start fresh, remove the old turf and reseed it with your chosen grass species. Commit to a schedule of growing the grass, including daily watering and grass rolling.
Preventing the Spread of Fungus
They say that prevention is better than the cure and the same goes for treating fungus on your lawn as well. If you want to ensure brown patch disease and others don’t arrive on your grass, follow these tips:
Aerate the lawn regularly to give good air and nutrients to the root system of your grass. Follow up with a seeding process and lawn rolling once a year to ensure they grow more effectively.
Be cautious not to overwater your lawn and have an irrigation system that prevents this from happening.
Ensure the soil under your lawn has the right level of drainage, as this can provide a beneficial condition for fungus to thrive. Even though brown patch disease grows on the leaves, it’s still a factor to consider.
Excess nitrogen can cause fungal growth on your lawn, so understanding the current nutrient levels and how to correct them will help. Things like over-fertilizing your lawn can cause excess nitrogen levels, so be mindful of how much you’re applying.
If you notice a spot of fungus, try to deal with it as soon as possible. Diseases like brown patch can spread quickly and easily, so don’t let them get out of hand.
The Key to a Fungus Free Lawn
Brown patch fungus is one of the more annoying diseases you’ll find on your lawn, but for most grass types, it won’t be seriously damaging.
With a few tips on how to remove it and how to prevent it from growing in the first place, you can ensure your lawn stays fungus free and as healthy as can be.
Our beloved lawns go through a whole lot in their lifetime, whether it’s fungal growth or invasions from pests.
If you want to learn more about taking care of your lawn and protecting it from these attackers, read on for a few FAQs that can teach you the basics.
Why Are There Mushrooms on My Lawn?
Mushrooms are often a good sign that the soil beneath your lawn is rich and the ecosystem within it is thriving.
If you find mushrooms and toadstools on your lawn, it’s not likely to cause an outbreak, so you can leave them be until they disappear naturally if you’re not concerned about pets or people touching them.
What is Dollar Spot Lawn Disease?
Dollar spot lawn disease is a fungus that can affect the grass with small patches of straw-colored spots.
Conditions like ongoing wet weather or a lack of nitrogen can cause dollar spots to become more prevalent on the lawn, but it’s easily treated with a lawn-specific fungicide.
How Do I Know If My Lawn Has Fungus?
Some of the more common symptoms of fungal infection on your lawn include spots of discolored grass, frayed grass blades, and circular patterns of dead or dying grass.
Once you diagnose these as lawn fungus, they can be easily treated with a fungicide made specifically for grass conditions.
Rebecca Vargas is an experienced gardener and landscaper and has been rendering professional services for many years. Her services cover both private homes and commercial properties. Leveraging that rich experience, Rebecca Vargas now dedicates a chunk of time to show just about anyone how to maintain their garden and yard, whether at home or workplace. GreenIQ is his way of reaching and teaching millions of homeowners across the globe about proper gardening and lawn care practices.