Multiple years of brown patch or... something else?

Asked June 6, 2019, 9:08 PM EDT

Good evening, I moved into a new construction house in 2016 and renovated the lawn. In 2016, I tilled in 3-5 inches of compost, limed to increase the pH, and seeded the lawn. It looked incredible for the first several months of 2017 and then it suffered significantly, as large portions of the lawn died out. The same thing happened in 2018, and now appears to be happening again in 2019. I've tried using Banner MAXX and Headway G this year to see if it would curb any potential fungus outbreak, and it does not appear I will be successful. I've taken pictures of the lawn over the past week to show you the progression of the issue. Is this a fungus? Or something else? If a fungus, why would these professional fungicides not be working? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. -Sean Manning

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

We are not convinced this is a lawn disease. Brown patch is not even active yet. The weather conditions are not right for it yet. We have had reports of red thread but see no evidence of it in your photos. Both of these diseases are cosmetic and fescue lawns tend to recover from them even without using fungicides.
Please see the following lawn maintenance calendar for Maryland lawns. Following this guide will provide a decent home lawn.
We do not recommend using fungicides because in most cases they aren't necessary. Applying commercial ones correctly for homeowners is difficult because in most cases they do not get the timing right and do not have the proper application equipment. It does look like from your photos that your lawn mower blades need to be sharpened. Right now proper mowing, as far as frequency and height, is the most important lawn task for a healthy home lawn.