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Battling Brown Patch in St. Augustine Lawns

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Brown patch disease can be a huge issue for homeowners in our area. Especially for those of us with a St. Augustine lawn, a popular choice for warm, humid regions like ours. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and management techniques is essential to helping you keep a low maintenance, beautiful yard.

What Is Brown Patch?

Brown patch, scientifically known as Rhizoctonia solani or Rhizoctonia blight, is a fungal disease that thrives in warm, humid conditions. Our lawns in Houston are mainly made up of St. Augustine grass, which means many of us are facing this issue right now. Its dense, lush growth habit makes it highly vulnerable to this disease. Brown patch is characterized by circular patches of brown or tan grass that range from a few inches to several feet in diameter. These patches can quickly spread and become an eyesore if left untreated.


Causes of Brown Patch

Brown patch is typically triggered by a combination of factors, including:

  1. Weather Conditions: Warm and humid weather, particularly in late spring and early fall, provides the ideal breeding ground for brown patch.

  2. Excessive Moisture: Overwatering can promote brown patch development. You want to provide at least an inch of water each time, which typically means you water less often and save a little money. Watering more at a time in longer intervals ensures a healthier lawn with deeper roots that will help your lawn avoid the stresses caused by our weather.

  3. Compacted Soil: Poor soil aeration and compaction can contribute to the disease's spread. An organic fertilization program will help keep your soil less compact, allowing roots to grow and creating a healthier lawn.

Preventing and Managing Brown Patch

  1. Proper Lawn Care: Regularly mow your St. Augustine grass to the recommended height and maintain a consistent watering schedule to prevent overhydration. Most people in this area mow their lawns way too low, which causes stress on the grass, leading to fungal disease and many other issues. Most of us are not maintaining a golf course...

  2. Improve drainage: Ensure that your yard is draining well and there are no obstructions. This will make it less hospitable for the fungus.

  3. Fungicide Treatments: Apply organic fungicides designed to combat brown patch. This should be done typically during the disease's active season. (This is what we do!)

Remember that early detection and intervention are vital in managing brown patch. If you notice symptoms, act promptly to protect your St. Augustine lawn from this troublesome fungus and keep it looking healthy and vibrant.


Call us today at 281-358-Fert (3378) for a free quote. You can also request a quote online.

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