Brown Patch Virus

Asked July 31, 2019, 5:53 PM EDT

Based on your article which appeared in the Sunday Sun paper (7/28), it appears that my lawn has this virus, although I'm not positive. I have tried a variety of "fixes" to no avail. Please examine the photos and determine if I have brown patch and what can be done about it. Will digging up the lawn and putting down sod on top of 2-4" of top soil solve this problem or will it eventually reappear? Thank you. Andrew Ennis

Baltimore County Maryland lawns and turf

1 Response

We would need to see some close-up photos of the leaf blades to determine if this is brown patch disease. On green leaf blades, there would be a section that is brown, usually with a dark brown border on the edge. See photos on these two pages for comparison.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/brown-patch-lawns

https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2017/07/17/brown-patch-in-maryland-lawns/

There could be other problems going on here. Many lawns are showing symptoms of drought stress now due to limited rain and hot temperatures. It also looks like there are some portions of the lawn that have rocks or some other type of material and/or compaction. In any case, our recommendation would be to thicken your turf by overseeding the bare areas in the fall. (See our webpages about overseeding, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/seedingsodding-lawns and fall lawn renovation, https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2017/08/30/get-your-lawn-back-in-shape-this-september/.

You could also renovate and put down sod, but sod is not immune to problems that occur in seeded fescue lawns.

Christa