Brown Patch

Brown patch is a common turfgrass disease caused by the fungus species Rhizoctonia. Irregular, circular patches of dead grass leaves and stems appear in infected lawns and can be from a few inches to several feet wide. Fescue lawns are especially susceptible, but brown patch can infect both warm- and cool-season lawns. Most damage occurs in the warm summer months.

Cultural Solutions

  • Avoid overfertilizing, especially in late spring and summer for cool-season lawns and early spring and late fall for warm-season lawns.
  • Lush growth is particularly susceptible.
  • Water properly, wetting the entire root zone (6 to 8 inches deep) and allowing the turf to partially dry between irrigations (Summer Lawn Watering Guide).
  • Mow at the proper height and collect clippings to prevent spread.
  • Aerate to improve drainage.
  • Have soil tested—disease is more prevalent in soils below a pH of 6.
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