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3 Types of Fungus That Can Ruin Your Lawn

The transition from dormancy to the 2021 growing season was problematic for many of our centipede and Zoysia lawns because of fluctuating and cooler temperatures combined with higher than normal rainfall early in the year.

We saw a lot of fungus damage that we were not aware of until we were able to start our spring rounds of lawn fertilizations in mid to late April.

By then, fungus had done considerable damage.  Around 40% of our centipede and 20% of Zoysia lawns were affected. Below is some information to better understand fungus, resources for future reference, and our approach to reducing the chances of getting it again. There are 3 types of fungus that can ruin your lawn.

FUNGUS: 3 Most Common Forms

Photo taken in September 2021 of fungus already starting in centipede.

1. Brown Patch

  • Brown patch is the most common and important disease of tall fescue in the Southeast, caused by Rhizoctonia solani.
  • Can affect your lawn during both the cool and warm seasons.
  • In most cases, affected areas of mature turfgrass are able to recover, but tall fescue lawns less than a year old can be killed.

2. Large Patch

  • Like brown patch, large patch is caused by Rhizoctonia solani.
  • Can affect your lawn during both the cool and warm seasons.
  • However large patch is caused by a different strain of this pathogen that is specific to warm-season grasses.
  • The most popular warm-season turfgrasses that are highly susceptible to large patch:
    • Centipede
    • Zoysia
    • St. Augustine

3. Spring dead spot

  • According to an article in turf magazine, spring dead spot is a disease of bermudagrass, and can also occur on zoysiagrasses.
  • The pathogen, Opiosphaerella, weakens the turf and can cause circular patches of infected turf fail to green up in the spring.
  • Spring dead spot damage is slow in recovery and can take a while for the turf to spread back into the affected patches.
  • We recommend:
    • Breaking up the mat of dead turf with aerification or spiking.
    • Applying fertilizer lightly and irrigating frequently to help the stolons root.

“Warm season turfgrasses require fungicide treatments in the spring but are important in the fall for best disease control.” –College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Clemson University

Get Rid of Fungus – The Clark’s Way

We are encouraging preventative fungus treatments to our Centipede, St Augustine and Zoysia lawns.

Our program includes:

  1. A granular fungicide application around the end of September to the first week in October.
  2. A follow-up for liquid application of fungicide 21 to 28 days later.
  3. Then in late February to early March (depending on temperatures), we follow up with another quality granular fungicide.

A benefit of adding the preventative treatment is the increased visits by our turf experts to your lawn. This will allow us to better manage the results.

For more information or free evaluation for our fungus preventative treatments, call 803-781-4991 or e-mail LawnHelp@ClarksTurfPro.com