St. Augustine grass is a well-known turfgrass variety used in warm-season areas, but it is susceptible to Large Patch Disease, a prevalent fungal disease also known as Rhizoctonia solani. This disease causes brown patches in lawns, which can be unsightly and frustrating for homeowners.
The fungus that causes Large Patch Disease thrives in cool and damp conditions, making it most common during fall and winter when humidity levels are high. Poor drainage or overwatering can create the moist conditions necessary for the fungus to grow. Soil compaction and nutrient deficiencies, particularly low levels of potassium, can also contribute to the disease’s onset.
To avoid Large Patch Disease, proper lawn care practices are crucial. This includes proper watering, fertilization, and mowing techniques. Regular soil testing can also help identify nutrient deficiencies and imbalances that can be corrected through proper fertilization.
If the disease is already present, fungicides can be used to treat the affected areas, but it is essential to follow label instructions carefully to avoid damaging the grass. Severe cases may require re-sodding the affected areas to restore the lawn’s health and appearance.
In summary, Large Patch Disease is a common fungal disease that can be prevented through proper lawn care practices. However, if the disease is already present, it can be treated with fungicides while taking precautions to avoid damaging the grass.
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