Lawn Disease and How to Protect It

Brown Patch:

The most common disease of St. Augustine grass. It can occur in the late spring; however, it is usually the most active in the fall when conditions are the most favorable. Ideal conditions are cloudy days, excess moisture, 65-70 degrees nighttime temperatures and daytime temperatures in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s and with excess nitrogen available. Typical symptoms are circular areas with brown centers with a yellow to light green area outlining the brown area. The fungus is active in the yellow to green area.

Prevention of brown patch is difficult. Some suggestions are: Do NOT use urea or nitrate based nitrogen fertilizers in the late summer or fall, do make sure your lawn drains and there are not any areas where excess moisture stands.

Treatment should begin at the first sign on yellowing rings in the lawn. Fungicides are available such as Ortho Fungicide for Brown Patch or other equivalent products. Depending on which fungicide is used, treatments are made every 14 days to as much as every 30 days. Treatment must continue as long as conditions are right for the brown patch to occur.

Organic Method: Apply Microlife Brown Patch 5-1-3 at a rate of 20 lbs. per 1000 square feet. When using as a preventative apply 30 days prior. The Microlife Brown Patch has Microbial Bacteria that eat the Fungi. No Chemicals

Take All Patch:

Take all patch was identified some years back and looks similar to Brown Patch, except it occurs when the temperature is too high for Brown Patch to be active in the summer and too cold for it to occur in the spring. Take All Patch is a soil-borne disease. Unlike Brown Patch, this disease can kill St. Augustine if it is not treated. Multiple treatments of fungicide are usually needed. If it is diagnosed in your lawn, it can be treated with fungicides that are not readily available at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Some of these Fungicides are no longer available to the public. We have only seen a few cases of Take All Patch in the past 10 years.

Fall Army Worms: The Bermuda varieties of turf are susceptible to these. The armyworms usually will surface in August and September. A simple preventative for these would be Eco Smart Granules or Triazicide Granules. If noted in your lawn, you may spray them with Eco Smart Liquid, Sevin or use the granular Triazicide watering it in after the application. Fortunately, this is the only problem Bermudas have with Pests.