With the late spring rains, be on the lookout for Brown Patch turf disease soon in Oklahoma lawns. High humidities, excessive rainfall, and warm temperatures are the perfect ingredients for turf disease such as Brown Patch to develop.
There are three things that must be present for turf disease to occur…..a susceptible host, fungi present, and the right weather conditions. Fescue is a host for Brown Patch, with some varieties more susceptible than others. Even bermduagrass can get Brown Patch in sever cases, along with Large Patch that is often found on zoysiagrass lawns. Fungi are present everywhere, just waiting for the right conditions to grow. Fungi love warm, wet, humid weather, which is what we’ve been experiencing a lot of here lately, and will continue on into June.
So we’ve had many of our lawn care customers, especially with fescue, experience Brown Patch problems in their turf, with yellow to brown splotchy areas developing and wilting of the turf. We can’t control the rainfall and humidity, so disease is going to happen under conditions such as we’ve experienced. A turf fungicide can be applied on a preventative and curative basis, but these typically have about a 2-4 week residual. So repeat treatments are usually needed for best results. Turf off your irrigation system and let the turf dry out some. When mowing, remove the grass clippings, to help remove some of the fungi present and allow better air circulation within the turf.
When it typcally becomes hotter and drier in July, the disease pressure will go away usually. Fescue overseeding season is just a few months away in September, so damaged turf can be renovated with new seeding done then.