Brown patches are the bane of warm-weather lawns. Your lush, green lawn turns into a sad looking yard full of brown patches that grow bigger and bigger. What do you do?
What causes brown patches
St. Augustine is a popular, thick-growing grass that keeps most weeds at bay and does well in warm climates. Unfortunately, St. Augustine is particularly susceptible to a fungus called brown patch fungus that occurs most commonly in the fall and early spring. It thrives in cool, wet conditions and will spread across your yard.
Fortunately, good maintenance can prevent brown patch fungus. Even if you already have it, following the steps below will restore your yard to its former lush green condition.
Treating Brown Patches in Mississippi Grass
So how can you get rid of all of the brown patches in your yard? Read below to find out.
1. Water early in the morning
Watering your grass late in the day leaves the lawn damp at night, creating conditions that brown patch fungus thrives in. The best time to water is early in the morning, sunrise is best. This allows the grass time to dry before temperatures cool off in the evening.
2. Don’t water too much
Overwatering creates damp conditions in your yard which brown patch fungus thrives in. St. Augustine grass only needs to be watered once it is dry and has signs of drought, roughly every 5-10 days.
3. Avoid nitrogen-rich fertilizer in late fall and early spring.
Nitrogen fertilizers promote lush green growth, another condition brown patch mold thrives in. Wait to use nitrogen fertilizers in late spring or early summer to avoid creating conditions that will encourage brown patch fungus growth.
4. Treat compacted soil to create conditions for good drainage
When your soil gets compacted it causes poor drainage. This causes too much surface moisture on your lawn, an ideal growing environment for brown patch mold. Avoid this by aerating your lawn at least once a year, and by also maintaining a proper pH in your soil.
5. Minimize grass clippings
Too many clippings can cause a buildup that catches and maintains moisture above ground. By mowing more frequently you can avoid a buildup of clippings and prevent brown patch fungus growth. Mowing your yard to a height of 2.5 to 3 inches about every ten days is best for St. Augustine grass.
6. Fungicide options
Early application of a fungicide can effectively control brown patch fungus. You will find many brands and types to choose from, see what your store carries and what type of application works best for you. Once you choose one, read the instructions carefully and apply accordingly. Most fungicides need to be used at the first sign of brown patch fungus and must be applied once or twice a month.
Regular, Consistent Maintenance Is the Key to a Beautiful Lawn
As the above steps show, avoiding excess moisture in your lawn is the key to avoiding and treating brown patch fungus.
Too busy or too overwhelmed to deal with all of these details? If you would like the services of a yard professional to maintain your lawn and landscape, give the lawn experts at Cornerstone Landscaping a call at 662-501-0181 to schedule a free consultation with our team. We will sit down with you to discuss how we can best service your lawn and landscaping needs.