Brown patches in grass

Asked August 10, 2020, 4:28 PM EDT

I have these brown patches in my grass that seem to be getting worse. Any ideas what may have caused it and what I should do to get rid of them?

Sussex County Delaware

1 Response

Dear Sussex County Lawn Owner

From your pictures it seems that your lawn is suffering from brown patch. This is caused by a fungus and is encouraged by heat, moisture and humidity. These of course have all been too common here in Sussex County, DE this summer. To slow down the spread rake out the dead areas and avoid adding fertilizer to the affected areas. Cut the grass when it is dry and it is best to collect and dispose of the cuttings. The dead areas can be reseeded in the fall.

There are fungicides that can treat the surrounding areas and slow down or prevent the spread. Look for products that are for brown patch and follow the directions carefully.

It is not always possible to identify a problem from the pictures. Normally we would ask you to take a sample to an extension office but of course with the Corona Virus the offices are closed. If you want an absolute identification call a reputable lawn treatment company, take a sample to a garden center or send a sample to the location below.

The sample should be taken to include the dead area as well as the areas around it

Mail: Samples may be sent by mail to the address below, which is checked daily during weekdays. Contact if a sample is mailed. UD Plant Diagnostics Lab PO Box 9089 Newark, DE 19714

The link below is a form that must accompany the sample.

The link below, Livable Lawn Fact Sheet, gives a wealth of information on creating and maintaining a healthy lawn. It does have a mention of brown patch along with other potential lawn problems. It also recommends a soil test, if you have not had one done recently, as soil chemical or pH imbalance may also support fungus.