Signs of Brown Patch Fungus in Florida Grasses
When you think of Florida, many people think of hot, ‘beach day’ weather and lush, green lawns. But when temperatures mellow out in the fall, mixed in with almost daily spurts of rainfall, Florida lawns become a warm, humid haven for lawn diseases to make themselves at home. During the fall season, brown patch fungus is a common issue for South Florida lawns and can be quite an eyesore in an otherwise healthy lawn.
Florida Lawn Diseases 101: Brown Patch Fungus
Brown Patch can affect all warm-season grass types. It’s especially prominent in Miami-Dade County due to the popularity of Zoysia grass and St. Augustine grass. The peak time for brown patch disease in Florida is normally November to May when temperatures are consistently below 80 degrees and humidity is high. Brown patch is sometimes referred to as Large Patch since they come from the same fungal pathogen. It’s common to confuse the two with many similarities, but it’s important to react quickly when they’re active in your lawn.
What are the Brown Patches in my Florida Lawn?
This is a common question for homeowners dealing with common lawn diseases. But how can you tell brown patch fungus apart from other lawn problems? Surefire signs of brown patch are circular patches of yellow or brown spots that expand in size. Damage can be seen at the base of the grass blades, closest to the soil. Affected areas may also have a visible ring around the edges or patches of green grass in the center.
How to Treat Brown Patch Fungus
Once you’ve identified brown patch disease in your lawn, quick action is key to stop the damage in its tracks. A fungicide can be applied when the disease is active and may need follow-up treatments depending on the severity. Brown patch can also be treated with preventative fungicides seasonally. For South Florida lawns, October is a good time for brown patch prevention.
How to Prevent Brown Patch in Your Florida Lawn
The best way to prevent any lawn disease is through good cultural practices. Proper mowing, watering, and lawn fertilization are the key to a healthy lawn. And a healthy lawn is never a welcome place for fungal disease. Overwatering, thatch build-up or compacted soil, and excessive moisture all contribute to brown patch development. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when trying to prevent this fungus:
- Water early in the morning to give the lawn more time to dry throughout the day. Watering late in the day, or in combination with Florida rainfall will extend the wetness on the lawn.
- Mow regularly at the proper height and clean your mower blades if the fungus is currently active to prevent spreading.
- Schedule core aeration each spring to limit thatch and compaction. For lawns with an excessive thatch layer, dethatching may be beneficial as well.
Dollar Spot and Other Common Florida Lawn Diseases
Brown patch disease isn’t the only thing to look out for in warm-season grasses in Florida. Other common lawn diseases like dollar spot fungus and root rot may pop up throughout the seasons. Most fungus issues are encouraged by high humidity, making Florida lawns prime real estate. The good news is that most lawn fungus problems can be resolved easily with a fungicide application if caught in time.
Dollar Spot Fungus looks just like it sounds, and it affects all warm-season turfgrasses, especially Bermuda grass. Affected areas will have silver-dollar-sized yellow spots appear throughout the lawn. It can be a sign of excessive thatch build-up which is why annual aeration is so beneficial. Some cases can be resolved with a nitrogen fertilizer, as it can also be a sign of a nutrient deficiency in the soil.
Take All Root Rot is mostly active during spring or fall and mostly affects St. Augustine grasses. Root rot attacks the grass roots, causing patches of seemingly dead grass to appear in the lawn. A few conditions that can encourage this lawn disease are thatch, heavy shade, excessive irrigation, soil compaction, and poor drainage.
Professional Lawn Care and Lawn Fungus Treatment in the Miami Area
If you’re looking for help with a fungus in your lawn, our team at One Two Tree is here to help! One Two Tree is a local, trusted lawn care company based in Miami, Florida. Our lawn care services include weed control and lawn fertilization, fungicide treatments, pest control, and tree trimming in South Florida. Since 1987, we’ve provided high-quality lawn service to South Florida homeowners in the greater Miami area. We also service Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Pembroke Pines, Doral, and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free quote!