Lawn diseases have a trait for giving your grass a rotting, dead look and you’ll want to make sure to take care of the problem before it spreads across your lawn.

Here are 4 lawn diseases common to San Antonio – protect your lawn against

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Take-All Patch

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1. Take-All Patches

Take-all patch first appears as a yellowing of the grass and a darkening of the grass roots, followed by a thinning of the turf in irregular shapes. The darkening of the roots indicates rotting, and the roots can rot so extensively that the grass can be easily pulled up.

Take-all patch most commonly affects St. Augustine, zoysia, and Bermuda grasses, and can rot roots so badly that it eventually kills the entire lawn. It spreads mainly during the fall, winter, and spring, when there is abundant moisture and cool or mild temperatures. However, the symptoms generally do not appear until the hot, stressful days of summer.

Prevention and Solutions
– Maintain good drainage in your lawn area
– Avoid overfertilization of turf areas, as excessive nitrogen seems to promote take-all patch.
– Raise the mowing height on your mower to reduce stress to your turf.
– Avoid the use of broadleaf herbicides, which may weaken your turf.
– Avoid urea-based fertilizers.

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Brown Ring

2. Brown Rings

Brown patch first causes circular patterns of dead grass blades; in two to three weeks, new leaves may emerge in the center of the circular patch, giving diseased areas a donut-shaped appearance. The affected grass turns brown and grass blades rot and break off from the runners.

Brown patch most commonly attacks St. Augustine grass and can spread in an area of 1 to 50 square feet. It occurs in late fall through early spring and is promoted by wet weather or frequent irrigation.

Prevention and Solutions
– Avoid overfertilization or overwatering of your lawn.
– Aerate your lawn once a year.
– At the first sign of the disease, apply a fungicide to the affected area.

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Iron Chlorosis

3. Iron Chlorosis

Iron Chlorosis causes the blades of the grass to develop green and yellow stripes, or to turn completely yellow. It occurs in alkaline (high pH) soils with high phosphorus levels, and under cool and wet soil conditions.

St. Augustine grass is most susceptible to Iron Chlorosis.

Prevention and Solutions
– Do not use fertilizers that are high in phosphorus.
– Topdress your turf with 1/4- to 1/3-inch of compost.
– Aerate your lawn once a year.
– For temporary relief, try adding iron supplements to your lawn.

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Drought Stress

4. Drought Stress

Grass affected by drought stress looks blue-green or silverish, and individual blades curl. Footprints remain in the lawn after you step on it. The soil under the lawn is dry.

All turf can survive some drought stress, although some types of turf require less water than others.

Prevention and Solutions
– Choose drought-tolerant turf grass.
– Irrigate efficiently.
– For sloped areas, consider alternatives to turf.

While we wrote this post for San Antonio, the same general tips do apply to Austin, Dallas and Houston as well!

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