As Northwest Florida temperatures finally start to moderate during the middle of Fall, we face the prospect of having to deal with unwanted turf problems, especially large patch fungus disease. Two grass species commonly planted in our area are highly susceptible to developing the disease: Centipedegrass and St. Augustine Grass.
What is Large Patch Turf Disease?
Large Patch Fungus or turf disease was formerly known as Brown Patch. It is also known as the Rhizoctonia blight, caused by the Rhizoctonia solani pathogen. University of Florida plant pathology professors M. L. Elliot and P.F. Harmon, suggest that the peak period for the disease in the Northwest Florida area is between November and May because of milder late fall and winter temperatures.
What Causes the Disease?
According to a recent University of Florida IFAS Extension publication on Fall Turf Issues, Santa Rosa County Extension expert Blake Thaxton, stresses that property owners should be mindful that cooler weather and the presence of high humidity or extended periods of rainfall create ideal conditions for the development of large patch turf disease.
Other factors that create the conditions that are conducive to large patch development include applying too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer - especially in the fall, inadequate soil drainage, and the practice of cutting the grass too short.
Another major contributor to large patch turf disease is insufficient knowledge about efficient irrigation. Property owners that water their lawns too often may be saturating the topsoil surface to the point where neither the dirt or the grass leaves can dry out thoroughly between watering applications.
How to Prevent the Disease from Developing
You may not be able to control the amount or frequency of rainfall or the manner in which it contributes to the development of an unsightly grass fungus like large patch disease. However, you can control the way you deal with landscape maintenance and how that affects the health of your landscape.
Leave the Tricky Stuff to the Landscape Maintenance Experts
Don’t take it upon yourself to mow or fertilize your lawn if you don’t know the proper landscape maintenance practices that will prevent the development of the disease. Let a team of experienced lawn care service professionals handle your regular lawn care and landscaping upkeep responsibilities.
The way you care for your lawn during the fall and winter months is different than the way you care for it during the spring and summer. Cooler temperatures, significant amounts of rain, and high humidity levels encourage the development of at least one common grass fungus. Leave your residential, investment and commercial property lawn care maintenance in the hands of experienced professionals like the experts at GreenEarth.
If you’d like a consultation or want to know what we can do to help you, give us a call at our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010 to set up an appointment. You can also fill out the online form on our website to schedule a consultation.