If your new Sir Walter, Palmetto, or any other Buffalo lawn type has developed circular patches of dead, brown or dying areas of turf, then the most likely cause for these brown patches will be a lawn fungus disease called… Brown Patch.
Brown Patch is triggered in a similar manner and time of year as the Leaf Spot disease. these times will mainly be in the warmer months when humidity can be higher, however Brown Patch may not always be seen in the heat of Summer, but will instead be most common on either side of Summer.
Brown Patch will become most active and aggressive when experiencing it's peak growing conditions, which is when excess water continues to sit on the lawn for long periods of time under humid conditions. And these peak fungus growing conditions are usually brought on by ourselves when we water lawns at night time.
Golden Rule: lawns should only ever be watered in the mornings - never at night.
Brown Patch will be identified by circular dying patches of lawn which will continue to grow in size from the size of a dinner plate up to a couple of metres in diameter. Multiple circles of Brown Patch are common on Buffalo lawns infected by the disease.
The brown and dying leaf of the Buffalo grass will also pull away from the grass stem very easily. On inspection, the lower part of the dead leaf will appear as a rotting dark brown colour.
Treating Brown Patch in Buffalo Grass
Prevention is the key to stopping all lawn diseases in a Buffalo lawn, and many of the same preventative measures which stop Brown Patch from taking hold in a lawn will also be the cure.
Here are the key steps to treating Brown Patch:
- Water only in the morning
- Try to reduce watering as much as possible until the disease is gone
- Aerate the soil in the affected areas
- Aerate the entire lawn to stop further outbreaks
- Stop fertilising until the lawn is recovered
- Apply a fungicide if necessary
- Wash mowers of all clippings after mowing an infected lawn
Fungicides For Brown Patch
Fungicides are available for Brown Patch treatment on Buffalo lawns, and should be used if cultural management methods do not control the disease on their own.
Remember the golden rule of lawn fungicides - they are only ever to be used in conjunction with proper lawn care practices (cultural management practices).
The lawn must remain strong to help fight fungal diseases in conjunction with the fungicide. And unless proper lawn care practices are put into place, the Buffalo lawn will remain highly susceptible to ongoing infections of Brown Patch and all other lawn diseases.
Recovery Times For Brown Patch
Brown Patch is most active at a time of year when the Buffalo lawn is less actively growing, so therefore repair times from Brown Patch may be slow.
Your Buffalo lawn will begin recovering after a few weeks of treatment, and may take up to a few months to fully repair.
If you are in any doubt, or repair from Brown Patch is not happening, then contact your local licensed Weed Spraying and Lawn Treatment professional for advice and treatment, as he will have knowledge and access to treatments which the homeowner cannot purchase.