Prior to the onset of warm & humid nights, we warn customers about the dangers of a very destructive, hot-weather fungal lawn disease called Rhizoctonia Solani, more commonly called Brown Patch. Every season we receive calls that begin with, “My lawn looked great yesterday. Now it has brown areas and streaks. What happened?” Brown Patch is not totally preventable, but it is usually manageable with just a little care and knowledge.
Brown Patch is a fungal lawn disease that:
- thrives in high temperatures
- is most destructive when grass leaves stay continuously wet for too many hours
- spreads rapidly by mowers, foot traffic and standing water
Brown Patch spreads most rapidly when nighttime temperatures are above 80 degrees and the grass blades are continuously wet for too many hours. These continuously wet conditions can be the result of evening rains, poor air circulation and poor surface drainage; but they are more often the result of watering too late in the afternoon or evening.
To reduce the occurrence of brown patch damage, follow these recommendations during hot weather:
- Water between midnight and sunrise (when the grass is wet from dew anyway)
- If watering must be done during the day, let the grass dry out in the morning, then water in the late morning or early afternoon so that the leaves of the grass are completely dry before sunset
- Do not mow or allow foot traffic on a damp lawn
Most lawns will recover from Brown Patch infections on their own if allowed to dry out a little, if cooler temperatures ensue, and proper evening watering practices are followed.
Martz Bros. Lawn and Tree Care can apply a fungicide to help prevent or cure this disease. Call for more information at 913-789-9333 or drop us a note ONLINE.
See our article Summer Water Timing for more information about good watering practices.