When the warm season makes its appearance in South Carolina, your Bermuda grass falls under the threat of a fast-working fungus. Brown patch is a disease that can cause immediate cosmetic damage to your landscape. Since there are no resistant grass options for South Carolina, consistent care and observation are key to keeping your grass healthy.
Vigorous plants are more likely to avoid or overcome fungal infections compared to stressed or neglected plants. Grow Bermuda grass (Cynodon species) in South Carolina in areas that provide full sunlight, according to the Texas Cooperative Extension. Bermuda grass is a warm-season perennial grass; ideal daily temperatures remain above 50 degrees F.
Brown patch is a fungus caused by pathogens of the Rhizoctonia species. A prevalent problem on all lawn grass types of South Carolina, brown patch fungus disease prefers a warm temperature range of 75 to 90 degrees F, according to the Clemson University Extension. Look for the development of symptoms on Bermuda grass during spring and autumn.
Brown patch fungus on Bermuda grass in South Carolina leads to thinning and round discolored areas that take on a brown hue, as the name suggests. The affected patches display a wide variety of diameters from 3 inches to over 3 feet, according to Clemson. Bermuda grass often displays decay near the soil line on leaf blades. Brown patch has the ability to create a less symptomatic infection; your grass may thin and die without much warning.
Prevention is an effective means of avoiding a fungus problem on Bermuda grass. Mow your grass consistently and remove clipped scraps to prevent accidental spread of disease. Maintain well-drained soil to prevent the collection and germination of fungi that thrive in wet environments. During fall, steer away from fertilizers high in nitrogen as this encourages fungal attack, according to the Clemson University Extension.
For control of severe fungus on your South Carolina Bermuda grass, apply a fungicide. Liquid applications are more effective than granular options. Apply once every two weeks when night temperatures have reached and remain above 70 degrees F; cease applications when temperatures drop and remain below 70, according to the Clemson University Extension. Choose a chemical with the active ingredient mancozeb or triadimefon.