We are now about 14” above normal for rainfall in much of Oklahoma, even more in some areas. And most of that rain has come over the past few months, at a time with the temperatures are warm to hot. This is the perfect recipe for turf diseases, such as Brown Patch, to develop in Oklahoma lawns.
There are three things that must be present for turf disease to occur…..a sussceptable host, fungi present, and the right weather conditions. Fescue is a great host for Brown Patch, with some varieties more succeptable than others. Even bermduagrass can get Brown Patch in sever cases, along with Large Patch that is often found on zoysiagrass lawns. Fungi…..they are present everywhere, just waiting for the right conditions to grow. Most fungi love warm, wet, humid weather, which is what we’ve been experiencing a lot of here since May, and now even into July when it normally would be drying up some. Not so this year.
So we’ve had many of our lawncare 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 curritive basis, but these typically have about a 2-3 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.
If it ever heats up and dries out, as it probably will soon, the disease pressure will go away. Fescue overseeding season is just two months away in September, so damaged turf can be renovated with new seeding done then.
For prevention and treatment options, contact LawnAmerica, Inc. today!