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Horticulture Hotline: Lowcountry makes growing grass difficult

Brown patch disease (copy)

A smoke ring symptom, as shown in this backyard, is characteristic of brown patch disease.

While walking and driving around, it seems that brown patch/large patch/Zoysia patch (I will use these names interchangeable) has invaded the Lowcountry in a big way.

As the cooler weather comes and the grass growth rate slows down, large patch/brown patch/zoysia patch fungus begins to show up in our lawns. Does it seem to you that right when we got the army worms and sod web worms under control, here comes the large patch? Proving once again, the Lowcountry is the hardest place in the world to grow grass and why it is so important to have a program for your lawn. Do you see areas of your grass that are brown when other parts are green?

Large patch disease is always present in the lawn, it just manifests itself when the environmental conditions are right and your grass cannot outgrow the damage.

Without any sustained cold temperatures, this disease is slowly spreading across lawns as the temperatures that favor its growth keep coming into play. This prolonged fall is great for outdoor activities like visiting local attractions, fishing, boating, golfing, shopping and working in the yard.  However, the temperatures are also perfect for these diseases to develop. The grass is not fully actively growing (not mowing as much) and it is not fully dormant (brown), so these are perfect conditions for the disease to attack.

Since this disease is a big problem in the Lowcountry, knowing that it is a soil borne disease can help you with control strategies. Being a soil borne disease, you know that it will reoccur in the same areas year after year. There are not any spores flying through the air like many of your leaf spot fungi, so the disease is easier to control.

For more information, visit possumsupply.com

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