This is a great time of year to enjoy your yard. The humidity is down, and things aren’t growing as fast, so there’s less to cut, trim, and pull. Take a deep breath of that fresh fall air and take a break. However, while you’re out there be on the lookout for something that may be lurking under your grass—a filthy fungus by the name of Rhizoctonia.
Fungus feeding on your yard Brown patch fungus feasts on St. Augustine and Zoysia turfgrasses. Given its name, you can guess what the fungus does, it turns green grass an ugly shade of brown. This fungus didn’t suddenly appear, it was stirred up by a combination of the high heat and heavy rains, and when the temperature drops in the fall you can see it. There are stages to brown patch. It starts as a small section, usually less than a foot in diameter. From yellow, those blades turn red, brown, then take on a straw-like appearance as they die. Small patches devolve to big pieces with edges that are wilted and dark.
Smell your grass Rhizoctonia is a type of fungus that you can see and even smell. It doesn’t attack the roots but infects the area of the blade that is closest to the soil. Diseased blades have a rotten smell to them, and it doesn’t take much to pick them out of the ground. The scent is one way to tell the difference between brown patch and other lawn problems, like herbicide damage. Remember, if it stinks it’s most likely fungus.
Fight the fungus Now to how to take your lawn back, there are fungicides designed to kill it. But keep this in mind, your grass won’t suddenly turn back into your favorite shade of green. Turfgrasses must be actively growing to recover, and this isn’t growing season, so you’ll have to get used to that brown patch for a little while.
The best way to win this battle is with a maintenance plan. A balanced fertilizer gives your lawn the nutrients it needs all year long, and proper irrigation is vital to the health of all turfgrasses. You can count on us to keep your grass green and free of brown patch. Our experts, know how to identify it, control it, kill it, and make sure it doesn’t come back. Contact us if you have any questions about your yard or to talk about one of our maintenance plans.