Brown Patch?? Why do all of my lawns have it

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by SouthernYankee, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I dont do any fert. but all of my accounts have brown patch and I was wondering will it just go away in the spring/summer?

    Most of my customers have fert. companies service them, but they are all asking what will become of there lawn in the summer? In one subdivison all of the sprinkler systems are junk and are leaking all of the time, I inform them of the problem, but they dont seem to care.

    Anyways the point of this is will brown patch do damage to their lawns...All of them are st.aug.
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Brown Patch is a soil born disease that effects many different varieties of Turf. It is some times call winter patch in my area because the hot summers suppress it. Once large population have established in the soil, look for it to effect your turf on a continuing basics. Over water & over Fertilization will cause it to get worse.

    The Microbial that causes brown patch is in the genus of Rhizoctonia. The species and variety can vary from solani, zeae, oryzae etc depending on what part of the country
  3. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    You can also transport the disease from one property to another on mowing equipment.
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Pythium has been proven to be transported by mowers. However Brown patch being a soil born disease is not transported by mowers.
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Turf is right, and did a quick google to back it up:

    Taken from Nebraska website:
    Local spread is by mycelium bridging from plant to plant. Longer distance spread is by mycelium clinging to wet mower wheels during early morning mowing. This sometimes causes symptoms to appear in a wheel track pattern (Figure 4), rather than in the characteristic circular pattern.

    From City of Austin website:
    The disease can be spread by mowing because the fungal spores cling to the mower and are transported to new locations.
  6. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Ric is right - it is physically impossible to transport the fungal mycellium type of bacteria known to comprise Rhizoctonia. To do so would necessitate removing chunks of soil and plant tissue, then placing them in a newly, non inoculated area. Provided Southern Yankee isn't doing that than he is okay.

    However, the mycellium that comprises Pythium is easily transported.

    I have had several issues with the City of Austin and LCRA regarding incorrect information being posted to the public. On both issues, they ignored it and continued their scare campaign.

    SY: regarding the problems in St Aug, it is directly attribitued to over watering and over fertilizing. Any salt based, synthetic fertilizer will compromise healthy soil microbial levels so I recommend switching to something not containing a salt. Such as Milorginite or here in Texas, Hou-actinite. Once you start on this turf feeding diet, up-sell the necessary aerification and tine raking necessary to control the undecomposed organic matter effecting the turf to soil interface and you will begin to see healthier St Augustine without much of the spraying with-in three months or so depending upon your local conditions. Once two or three rakings are complete - about one year - the turf really begins to develop a much healthier stolon, and I have been able to eliminate the stolons that insist on "flying" straight up. I'm on a 2x year aerification schedule and clean up the cores with the rake.

    I used to spray fungicides 3X year on St Augustine. With this program, I'm down to maybe once per year-and that is on newer properties that has not developed the healthier turf.
  7. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    I'm not trying to cause a problem, but it's widely circulated in publications that this is the case. I know you guys have a ton of knowledge.

    Taken from Purdue:

    Because the brown patch fungus is an excellent saprophyte, the pathogen will always exist in the turf/soil environment, and the disease will be an annual threat when turf is vulnerable to infection and favorable weather conditions prevail. Damage generally is more severe on grasses maintained at lower mowing heights (less than 3" for tall fescue and 2" for perennial ryegrass). Individual patches spread by rapidly growing mycelium, and by mechanical operations, such as mowing, that redistribute infested grass residue. Spread also may be facilitated by water moving across the turf surface.
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Thanks for the back up, I knew I was right and was shocked to read the above post this morning. I am not knocking your Organic fertilizer at all. In fact here in our sandy soil I should use more. But will add that Slow release synthetics applied correct will have the same effects. I like the Bridge products that are both Organic and synthetic materials.

    BMP--- Best Management Practices calls for record keeping. By having those records of where Brown patch has been a problem, you can do preventive treatment.
  9. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    The information from Neb and Purdue directly address C3 turfgrasses which have a limited, very limited relationship to C4 grasses.
    While most known cultivated turfrasses fall into the Graminacea (sp?) family, both parasitic and saphrophytic organisms can/do act differently.
    Rhyzoctonia is a soil borne disease-it is always present-and during periods of stress, will manifest symptoms.
    You cannot get rid of it, it absolutely has to be managed.
    To manage properly, cultivar identification of the host turfgrass has to be made, as management practices differ according to specie.
    One may, with limited success, address generalized practices reliably known to somewhat improve appearance, yet to manage properly - limit the stressors.
    Regarding St Augustine and it's physical structure - unless one is removing pieces of the turfgrass containing the roots-you cannot translocate or innoculate an undamaged area. To do so necessitates moving turf and soil because the disease is soil borne.
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Graminacea is the correct spelling of the Botanical Family name of most grasses. In fact Plants falling into the Family of Graminacea are the most economical used or valuable plants in the World. They include most grains such as Corn wheat and barley Etc.

    PS Please PM me your E-mail, I have a Question not related to LS.

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