If a Saint Augustine lawn has developed circular patches of dead, brown areas of turf, then the most likely cause for these brown patches will be a lawn fungus disease called Brown Patch.
Brown Patch lawn disease is triggered in a similar manner and time of year as the Leaf Spot disease. these times will mainly be in the warmer months when humidity can be higher, however Brown Patch may not always be seen in the heat of Summer, but will instead be most commonly noticed on either side of Summer.
Brown Patch lawn disease will become most active and aggressive when experiencing its peak growing conditions, which is when excess water continues to sit on the lawn for long periods of time under humid conditions. And these peak fungus growing conditions are usually brought on by ourselves when we water lawns at night time, combined with higher temperatures.
Brown Patch will be identified by circular browning patches of lawn which will continue to grow in size from the size of a dinner plate up to a few feet in diameter. Multiple circles of Brown Patch are common on Saint Augustine lawns infected by the disease.
The browning leaf of the Saint Augustine grass will also pull away from the grass stem very easily. On inspection, the lower part of the dead leaf will appear as a rotting dark brown color.
Treating Brown Patch Disease in Saint Augustine Grass
Prevention is the key to stopping all lawn diseases in a Saint Augustine lawn, and many of the same preventative measures which stop Brown Patch from taking hold in a lawn will also be the cure.
Here are the key steps to treating Brown Patch:
- Water only in the morning
- Try to reduce watering as much as possible until the disease is gone
- Aerate the soil in the affected areas
- Aerate the entire lawn to stop further outbreaks
- Stop fertilization until the lawn is recovered
- Apply a lawn fungicide if necessary
- Wash lawn mowers of all clippings after mowing an infected lawn
Fungicides For Brown Patch
Fungicides are available for Brown Patch lawn disease treatment on Saint Augustine grass, and should be used if cultural management methods do not control the disease on their own, and as a complementary cure alongside cultural management.
Remember the golden rule of lawn fungicides - they are only ever to be used in conjunction with proper lawn care practices (cultural management practices). Otherwise the disease will continue to reoccur under the same conditions or other lawn diseases may take a foothold at a future time.
The lawn must remain strong to help fight and prevent fungal lawn diseases in conjunction with the lawn fungicide. And unless proper lawn care practices are put into place, the Saint Augustine lawn will remain highly susceptible to ongoing infections of Brown Patch and all other lawn diseases.
Recovery Times For Brown Patch Lawn Disease
Brown Patch lawn disease is most active at a time of year when the Saint Augustine lawn is less actively growing, so therefore repair times from Brown Patch may be slow.
A Saint Augustine lawn will begin recovering after a few weeks of treatment, and may take up to a few months to fully repair.
If in any doubt, or repair from Brown Patch is not happening, then contact a local licensed Weed Spraying and Lawn Treatment professional for advice and treatment, as they will have knowledge and access to more effective and powerful lawn treatments which the homeowner cannot purchase.