Brown Patch

Grasses Affected: Bluegrass, Bent grass Ryegrass, Turfgrass

What is Brown Patch?

Brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani) is a common lawn disease that most commonly affects grass in late Summer or in places affected by high heat and humidity. Brown Patch can weaken the roots of grass, but it may not always kill it.  Over-fertilization can make a lawn more susceptible to brown patch.

Brown Patch Signs and Symptoms

Brown Patch causes large, visible patches of damaged grass.  Though it is referred to as “brown patch” the disease is usually yellow-brown patches with dark outer rings.  Brown patch thrives in warm environments, in temperatures that range from 70 to 90 degrees.  Brown patch is most prevalent on lawns that are moist or wet for lengthy periods of time.

Brown Patch Prevention

Avoid applying fertilizer with too much nitrogen during the Summer and early fall when lawns are the most susceptible to brown patch.  Incidents of brown patch can be reduced if you can decrease extended periods of wetness and dew on your grass. Avoid over watering, Velvet Green recommends deep and infrequent watering every other day or at least 3 times a week. Early morning (4am - 6am) is best to limit evaporation from the sun. Lawn typically need 1-2 inches of water a week depending on weather conditions.

Fertilizer programs that Velvet Green offers help to prevent and mitigate brown patch through moderate nitrogen and beneficial microorganisms. Good cultural practices such as proper watering, mowing height (3-4 inches), sharpened mower blades, reducing thatch and compacation (aeration), and reducing leaf wetness when possible. Amendments offered by Velvet Green based on the results of soil testing can improve soil structure thus further helping to mitigate brown patch.