View Full Version : brown patch program

06-19-2003, 12:22 PM
Currently I'm a homeowner that's obsessed with his lawn. However, in my previous career I did landscape maint. , irrigation design, etc. for a fairly large commercial landscape company.

I have a tall fescue lawn and paid a local turf company to design a plan I could administer. I'm fully irrigated and follow the fert. rates carefully. I'm trying to address the recurring brown patch problem I'm having.

The plan calls for a preventive rate of Compass every 21-28 days starting June 1. However this yr. we were hit with a lot of rain and muggy nights. So, I may have let a small outbreak begin. I used the higher rate

June 1 (I believe .2 or .25/ 1,000) Compass
18 days later (it rained on days 13, 14, 15, 16) with Banner Maxx at a moderate rate.

I realize the infected turf may not recover and it's cheaper to buy seed in the fall. However, want great turf and will spend the time/money to get it right.

My question(s) are:

1. I'm alternating with Banner Maxx to prevent resistance to the Compass. Is this the best idea, or should I use something like Heritage to alt. Although it may have the same mode.

2. If Heritage is better, can I buy the Ag.. version (Abound) and save money? Remember, I'm not spraying anywhere other than my lawn. I found Abound at $235/ gal. and each gal. has 2.08 pounds of active ingredient. Heritage is something like $400 per pound and has only .5 pounds of active ingredient.

I enough Compass for 2 or 3 more applications, but other than starting earlier in the yr. , what's my best plan.

thanks, and sorry for the long post. I didn't want to ask question without giving enough info.

06-19-2003, 07:42 PM
Banner Maxx and Compass are very good products but quite expensive. Try using a product called Consyst (Regal Co.). Make your applications 7-14 days apart. You will get both a contact and systemic mode of action. The product has both Cleary's 3336 and Daconil in it and it's very inexpensive.

Another option would be to tank mix Daconil (4oz/K) and Banner Maxx (0.5 oz/K) to knock out that Brown Patch and reduce resistance.

There are so many options and fungicides to chose from.

06-20-2003, 09:40 PM
brown patch,try baylton granular spreads like fert ,a little high but a very good fungicide.do you have a fert program and are you putting a lot nitrogen down in the spring.:D

06-21-2003, 12:53 AM
This is the fert. program I'm following. My lawn is only 6k and I'm using about half a bag/application (Lesco products). In previous yrs. I was subscribing to the "more is better" thought process and would use twice as much. This is probably what got me into this mess. I have also done two applications of Lesco Micro-mix to give a deeper color in between fert. applications. (0-N) in this product. Previous yrs. I've used Lesco transition blend fescue, but tried John Deere Landscapes premium after hearing it was better and may have more bp resistance.

March 1st 19-3-7 with Pre M at recommended rate
May 1st 13-2-5 w/ Pre M , spot spray with Momentum
Sept 15th aerate and overseed, fert. 18-24-12
Nov. 32-5-7 spot spray with Momentum winter weeds

I don't mind spraying or paying $ for the right product. I'm going to do the next fungicide treatment with Compass and then try the Consyst as my in-between. Last yr. I didn't even notice the brown patch until July. I guess it paid an early visit this yr.

thanks for the help.

06-21-2003, 01:53 AM
Sounds like you are on the right plan. I have been spraying Compass and have head great results, I throw in a little iron for color and things are looking a little better. Wile my lawns are on the rebound many are getting hammered with brown patch right now.

Try Sustane during the summer, it's some great ****...really!

06-21-2003, 07:41 AM
brownpatch, next year try one app dem 18-3-10 and then a organic program . some times the organic and iron will work without the use of so many fungicides.

06-21-2003, 08:06 AM
Why spend all that money on commercial turf products. Ditty bop yourself down to the local Ag fert supplier and pick up a bag of PCNB. It's a granular application for BP and has a 30 day residual. And comparitively speaking to the products your using it is as cheap as dirt and equally or more effective in my experience. Also turn your water off in your turf zones if you are getting adequate rain. So many problems in turf can be eliminated or mitigated to below economic threshold treatment levels if you always allow the top 1" of soil to become completely dry before adding supplemental irrigation.

06-21-2003, 08:10 AM
what is pcnb:confused:

06-21-2003, 09:35 AM
I am in the Nashville area as well as can relate to battling the BP problems you are describing. We were lucky last month that although we had tons of rain (well over 12" in many areas) we also had a temperature and humidity range not condusive to BP developement. I watched the forecast for this past week the week before and thought "sounds like a great recipe for BP in fescue." 100% humidity for 4 straight days with afternoon T-storms predicted for almost every day. I have even seen BP start to pop up on my common Bermuda/ Hybrid and Zoysia lawns!
While I agree that there may be some danger of resistance building up by using the same fungicides it is probably pretty small. Not too sure about the PCNB idea as I used that product years ago and found it to be cheap but almost entirely ineffective. Heritage on the other hand is an excellent product that although very expensive works very,very well. I talked with a Syngenta R&D guy and was told that the resistance rotation thing is a good idea but was mainly put into the label for "CYA" (cover your **s) disclaimer. Since this a entirely new class of fungicides it is likely that it will be many years before resistance is seen.
I don't have any experience with the Compass yet but plan on rotating to it with Eagle as an alternative if the conditions warrant it going into late July. Many of my customers that paid for the preventive Heritage apps (28-30 residual) ended up with lush turf all the way throught the season and didn't even have to aerate/seed in the fall. Some chose to overseed alone while others elected to do nothing and they all looked great. To me it's like the old Fram oil filter commercials...Pay me now or pay me later.

06-22-2003, 03:16 PM
First off brown patch is soil born, when weather and temps are right this fungus germs and fescue makes a good host.

Daconil is not labeled for residential turf.

Heritage and composs are both strobin fungicides.

Mr. home owner are
you trying to back back your fungicides? If yes go to granuler. Like 1% bayleton.PCNB will yellow your fescue.

I like kirbys sustane and I would try to keep my potash high.


06-23-2003, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by vegomatic40
Not too sure about the PCNB idea as I used that product years ago and found it to be cheap but almost entirely ineffective.

PCNB is extremely pathogen specific. In fact the only use I have seen it for is BP. Unlike the other products which have an extremely broad spectrum and works against many pathogens, if you use PCNB for what you think is BP but it isn't, it will be very ineffective. It works great on St Augistine in early fall for me. As far as turing fescue yellow, I have no experience and can't say.

06-25-2003, 08:56 PM
You have gotten some good advice from Nat, Kirby and Igroturf.
Compass and Heritage are very good fungicides. Bayleton granular at preventive rates will do your yard twice.

If the combination of humidity and temperature is over 150
( 75 degrees and 80 % humidity = 155) you have the possibility of active brown patch. High fertility will make it worse. This is where the Sustane will help. Also an early summer application of a high potash fert will help harden cell walls against disease.

Fungicides aren't everything!

Avoid cutting during the heat of the day. This is when the disease is very active and can be easily spread by your mower! Cut in the morning before 10:00 or after 7:00 p.m.

Keep a sharp blade!

Raise mower as high as it will go!

Water deep and infrequently. Good cultural practices are often
more valuable than fungicides!

If you do all this and still have brown patch, have a beer and go
to the Opry. It'll get over it eventually..

06-25-2003, 09:50 PM
Thanks I try bumping the potash next spring.

I'm mowing at 3.75" , but have been guilty of mowing during some hot times. With all the rain we had last month, I was jumping on it every time it was dry enough.

I did a second application of Compass yesterday (mixed with iron), and I think I've minimized the damage. While at my closing attorney's office yesterday (refinance: dropped 3% points and 7 yrs. off my note!) I notice the whole office park (Class A, big $, lots of flowers, fully irrigated, etc) had a lot of BP. Maybe this season wont be perfect, but by comparison, I'll look good.

Next yr. I'm bumping up my first Compass application to mid March.

Right now, 8:45 pm and It's 85 degrees with 57% humidity
=142 pretty close.

Thanks again to everyone. I have too bite my tongue when I see all my neighbors with BP watering their lawn at 5:00 pm wondering why it's not helping.


06-26-2003, 07:56 AM
Congrats on the new mortgage. Sounds like you got a pretty sweet deal. I've been mulling over the refinance options myself now that the rates are so low and will justify the closing costs.
I'm not sure that the preventive app. of fungicide in March is a good idea. We rarely get into the low 70's and humidity is pretty low as well. I think I would wait until the conditions are right and watch the turf carefully starting in Mid-May. You should be able to examine the lawn and see the classic signs of early-Brown Patch (a tannish lesion mid-way up the leaf blade). This is when I begin my preventive fungicides and reduces waste with excellent results. Hope this helps.

06-26-2003, 09:05 AM
Sorry, I did mean mid-May. March would be wasted.

06-28-2003, 06:37 PM
I agree with lawnmagic, and I believe too much n in spring, and more n in fall!!!!!!

water infrequently but deeply to help avoid brown patch. Need a good dose of contact to arest disease and a systemic to help prevent disease!

with good cultural programs, I believe residentail lawns should seldom need fungicides!!!!!!!!

06-30-2003, 07:58 AM
With the weather we have had this spring and early summer, it is unlikely that BP can be controlled with cultural practices alone. I have seen lawns that get ZERO nitrogen during the year with BP throughout the lawn. My own personal lawn gets a whopping total of 1.5 lb of N/yr with no irrigation and still gets it, and my cultural practices are better than any of my customers. I still put down one or two apps. of Heritage to control it. If you live in Middle Tennessee and have Fescue you will get Rhizoctonia Brown Patch disease...plain and simple. While I agree that excess nitrogen can accelerate top growth and make the symptoms worse or, at the very least make it appear worse due to the contrast of the dark green against the diseased portions, I also believe that some N is needed for recovery when the conditions finally improve.
One of the most overlooked parts of BP control is seed rates in the fall. I adjust seed rates carefully when doing customers lawns. Last fall, we had one of the best seasons for seeding and many people put down way too much seed resulting in extremely dense lawns that are prone to "melting out" and severe BP damage. Overly thick fescue lawns reduce air circulation and allows the disease to "leapfrog" from one leaf blade to the next easily. I would rather listen to a customer whine a little in October that their lawn "isn't as thick as my neighbors" as being eaten up with unmanagable BP in June/July.

06-30-2003, 04:43 PM

I just drove through the Cool Spring area of Nashville (fairly upscale commercial area) and nearly every property has BP. I think a lot of people just diagnose it wrong. I've been watering every 6 days and deeply. Previous yrs. I was hitting it lighter every other day (in summer heat). I have read some studies that stated no difference in bp development with light irrigation, but I feel it's better for root development, etc.

Lordohturf said..
If the combination of humidity and temperature is over 150
( 75 degrees and 80 % humidity = 155) you have the possibility of active brown patch.

Is this generally accepted? Currently it's only 73 degrees, but we have 90% humidity. If the 150 rule is correct, the majority of summer in Nashville is bp prime.

One thing you mentioned was overseed rates. I've been guilty of pushing the limit. With 6k of turf, it's hard to stop in the middle of a bag. However, my turf is extremely thick. I mow in 1st or 2nd gear with my Exmark 36" walk behind to get a perfect cut. When I mow my neighbors for him (I'm a nice guy, and he is dangerous on that Scotts lawn tractor trying to cut and hold his beer) I can cut in 4th without any stringers.

I will aerate this fall, but only seed the areas that really need help.


07-01-2003, 08:09 AM
The "150 rule" is fairly accurate to predict active BP until you get into the upper 90's when BP activity drops pretty dramatically unless the lawn is getting too much moisture. Sounds like your watering pratices are pretty good with the current weather we have. I have been trying to break customers from watering 3-4 times per week with mixed success. I suggest watering 1-2 times per week with a total of 1"-1 1/2" put down using rain gauges. There is little that can be done if Mother Nature gives you excess but put that into your calculation. Don't just "set it and forget it", manual watering is best.
As far as the seed rates: I think there is more art than science in that area but, I would suggest no more than 3-6 lb./K of a 3-way Turf type Fescue blend for an established lawn such as yours. Save the extra seed for small stubborn areas and despite popular opinion don't put down extra in shaded areas. Shaded areas can only support so much turf and will result in "melting out" or stunted turf that takes forever to mature. You might even sell the extra seed to a neighbor or go in together to buy a 50lb. bag and split it for a better price. Hope this helps.

07-05-2003, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by NAT
brownpatch, next year try one app dem 18-3-10 and then a organic program . some times the organic and iron will work without the use of so many fungicides. Great advice! Prior to last season, I was used to having to apply about 3 fungicide applications per year, mostly for brown patch in my fescue. In 2002, I was introduced to the benefits of organic based fertilizers, one of which is disease suppression. I haven't applied a fungicide since August 2001 and the lawn looks healthier than ever.....

Also, have a 300 account LC program. Only did 1 fungicide all last season. (Mainly because the customer mows his Ky bluegrass at 1.5" all year) :eek:

07-07-2003, 02:17 PM
I believe proper cultural practices should keep brown patch in check! Water infrequently but deep, proper fert program, and proper mowing!!!!

Seeding rates are very important!!!!!
Establishment rates for tt tall fescue are between 6 to 10 lbs per 1000, depending on source. I like 6 to 8 lbs per 1000, and anytime you overseed you should cut rate by 50%. This is a very sound but general rule of thumb, and can be modified according to situation!!! overseeding at too high of rate, with normal germination results in too many plants per sq inch, they never mature properly, thin and die out!!!!!!