Turfgrass is susceptible to damage from pests and various diseases. It can sometimes seem as if it goes from healthy and green to yellow and brown overnight. If you've noticed the turf developing what looks like yellowish brown areas, the culprit could be brown patch, a fungus that develops and thrives in heat and humidity.
What is Brown Patch?
Brown patch, or Rhizoctonia solani, is a fungal disease that affects many different turfgrass species. It's especially common in the South and other hot and humid climates. It develops in the summer when hot temperatures and high humidity create the ideal growing conditions on residential lawns, golf course turf and more.
This fungal disease is detrimental to Kentucky bluegrasses in mid- and late summer, as well as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. It's also found in bentgrass as the humidity rises over the summer.
Signs of Brown Patch Disease
Brown patch gets its name from the markings it leaves on the turf. It mostly looks like yellowish brown patches but can appear differently on certain turfgrasses. The most obvious sign is seeing circular brown patches with a slight gray ring. However, it can develop differently on individual blades of grass. Here are a few signs to look for:
- Tall fescue grasses may appear less vivid than before as the fungus develops and scatters across individual grass blades. It won't show up in circular patches.
- High grasses will have those characteristic circular patches but may lack the outer ring that's found in lower cut grasses.
- Zoysia grasses and other affected low-cut turf will have the circular brown patches with outer rings. You will notice the edges even more during the morning hours when the turf is covered with dew.
How to Control Brown Patch
Susceptible turfgrasses are always prone to brown patch development, so prevention is difficult to manage. Keeping the grass somewhat dry overnight and mowed short to allow proper airflow may help to prevent the disease or at least slow its development.
Some other useful ways to control the growth of brown patch disease are:
- Using modest amounts of nitrogen fertilizer in the turf
- Making sure to use the right amount of fertilizer
- Applying the right fungicides to control the disease
Fungicides are formulated to control turfgrass diseases. Though some are ideal for curative control, others are best applied before the onset of the disease. Using a preventive fungicide alongside proper turfgrass maintenance will help to keep brown patch disease under control.
We've organized fungicides by good, better and best to give you an idea of which fungicides can help depending on the severity of the disease. Using them alone will work fine, but you can also combine a fungicide in the tank with an adjuvant like Droplex to improve efficacy.
Good Fungicides for Brown Patch
- Daconil Action
Better Fungicides for Brown Patch
- Secure Action
Best Fungicides for Brown Patch
- Heritage Action
- Fame SC
- Insignia Intrinsic
Any quinone 'outside' inhibitor (QoL) fungicide, such as Heritage, is the best solution for controlling fungal diseases like brown patch. These fungicides inhibit the fungal pathogens from producing energy, thus stopping their overall development and killing them before they spread.
Control Brown Patch with WinProOnline
We have a complete and ever-growing inventory of fungicides to help keep brown patch and other turf diseases under control on home lawns, golf courses and other turf sites. Whether you're a professional landscape artist or a golf course superintendent, you can find the right fungicide to kill, prevent and control turf diseases at WinProOnline.