FertiGator Lawn Care News and Information
LAWN ALERT – Brown Spots On Many Lawns
You may have noticed that your lawn has turned brown in spots recently and this may have alarmed you . This is especially true if you are fairly new to Florida and haven’t dealt with a freeze event before, since the last couple winters were unusually warm.
There are two main causes for the brown spots:
1. Brown Patch Disease - many lawns have been getting Rust/Orange/Brown spots from cool weather brown patch disease that normally occurs in late fall and winter and has been more active this year due to warmer than normal temperatures until the recent cold wave. It causes larger (2-3’ or more in diameter) spots with rust/orange color at the outside edge of the spot where the disease is most active. Overwatering can make it worse but it is very hard to prevent because heavy dews we get now create ideal conditions for it. We do treat to slow its spread but brown areas will remain for awhile after since the grass is not growing enough to recover quickly right now. It rarely causes permanent damage and goes away naturally in spring.
What you can do : water only 1 or 2 days a week (unless you have a solar sync system that automatically reduces watering in cooler weather) and do not water in the evening as that can make diseases worse.
2. Frost Damage - This happens when we have cold nights with very little wind.
It will cause areas in lawns to turn STRAW BROWN in sections with those areas most exposed to north or west most brown while areas under tree cover usually don’t get frost damage. However, when lawns get minor frost damage they rarely turn brown uniformly. Instead it will have green spots mixed in with the brown spots leaving what some describe as “leopard spotted”. This is usually NOT HARMFUL to the lawn and no permanent damage will result except in the event of extreme cold which is rare in central Florida. This is the natural process for southern grasses and except in rare cases your lawn will recover fully in spring.
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