Lawn Disease – Brown Patch

(Rhizoctonia solani)

Brown Patch – sometimes referred to as Large Patch or Rhizoctonia Blight – is a hot weather turfgrass disease. Brown Patch affects most turfgrasses throughout the United States, with damage signs appearing during late summer in the northern states and during fall through mid winter in the southern states.     

Identifying Brown Patch -

Brown Patch typically produces rings or patches of browned out turfgrass that can measure from 5 inches to 10 feet in diameter. It may also produce thin, brown to purple borders around the margins of the patches. These areas are commonly referred to as “smoke rings.”

After the grass leaves die, new leaves can emerge from the surviving crowns. On wide bladed species of turfgrass, leaf lesions develop with tan centers and dark brown to black margins.

Symptoms of Brown Patch can vary depending on the species, weather conditions and intensity of turfgrass management.

Conditions for Brown Patch Infection -

Brown Patch can only lead to an infection in your lawn if all of the following conditions are present:

1. Pathogen – Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani)

2. Host – All species of warm and cool season turfgrass

3. Environment – Hot, humid climates with temperatures in excess of 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime, 60 degrees nighttime

Brown Patch Control -

Cultural disease control practices create favorable conditions for a healthy lawn, and often create unfavorable conditions for the growth of Brown Patch. Environmental conditions cannot be changed, but cultural practices performed by the homeowner can be modified to lessen the chance of extensive damage from Brown Patch. Scotts LawnService can help determine a plan for preventing and controlling Brown Patch in your lawn.

For Brown Patch control and treatment, Scotts recommends the following cultural control tips:

  • Use low to moderate levels of nitrogen-based fertilizers with a balanced fertility program
  • Avoid high nitrogen applications when the disease is active
  • Reduce the amount of shade and increase the amount of air flow to dry turf more quickly
  • Irrigate turf early in the day and improve soil drainage
  • Reduce thatch
Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Brown Patch control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.