Is this Brown Patch or Drought? - LawnPro


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Is this Brown Patch or Drought?

June 1, 2022

When summer sizzles, a lawn can easily fizzle, trading lush green for crispy brown shades. No one wants unsightly brown spots taking over their once-green stretch of luscious lawn. There are multiple causes of these spots, including drought, brown patch, or dollar spots. But in order to solve this problem, you have to know exactly what you’re dealing with.

Drought Stress:

Like any plant, grass reacts to summer’s high temperatures and lack of water with wilting, browning, or even death. To detect drought stress, locate a brown patch, and pull on the grass. If it won’t pull easily from soil and is firmly rooted, it’s likely brown due to drought. Push a screwdriver into the soil in brown and green lawn areas. If the blade slips easily into the green lawn and won’t penetrate brown, the soil is dry. Next, look at the lawn as a whole. When drought is the culprit, brown patches appear randomly and in rough patterns. Lawn near a sprinkler head may be green, while the lawn further away is brown. Grassy areas in shade remain greener when parts in full sun turn brown due to drought. Lawn in low spots will remain green while higher areas turn brown.

Brown Patch:

Brown patch fungus, also known as large patch disease, is a declining turf condition caused by a single species of fungus, Rhizoctonia, and often occurs in mid-to-late summer when the weather is hot and humid — making conditions perfect for the fungus to thrive. Brown patch due to fungal problems usually shows up as irregular patches. If the disease has been active for a while, the inside of the patch may recover, leaving a ring of dead grass around it. Extremely rainy or humid weather can encourage fungal outbreaks, as can lack of sunlight and poor air circulation. 

Dollar Spot:

Dollar spot is caused by the fungus Clarireedia jacksonii, and this disease can make your beloved turf look like an unsightly patchwork. It is characterized by small, round, bleached straw-colored spots. It tends to occur from late spring to late fall, especially after a period of extremely moist weather. Dollar spot thrives in wet, humid conditions, so heavy dew, over-watering, late-day irrigation, and anything else that keeps grass leaves wet for long periods of time could lead to dollar spot. Other reasons you might be getting dollar spot in your lawn is from mowing too closely or not having enough fertilizer. 

If you are needing assistance with brown patch or dollar spots in your lawn then contact LawnPro of Murfreesboro for treatment!