Brown Patch is a common lawn disease in Central Texas. It’s caused by a fungus and starts out with a small brown ring that grows over time. The combination of moisture and humidity allows it to spread. The fungus damages the part of the blade that attaches to the runners causing the blades to easily pull off. You’ll also see brown patches on individual blades. Brown patch is usually a cosmetic issue, but it can be difficult to control when conditions are right such as cool, muggy weather with lots of moisture.
Another common disease in central Texas is Leaf Spot and it is commonly seen in late spring to early summer in lawns that get a lot of moisture. Individual blades will have small brown spots that are usually oval and have a darker brown border. Damage from leaf spot can cause problems during the summer when the damaged areas can’t handle the hot and dry conditions and die out. Early treatment with fungicides is best.
Take All Patch
Take All Patch is easily the most devastating lawn disease that we have in central Texas. The disease does what it’s name describes and damages all part of the grass from the roots to the blades. It starts with yellowing of the blades but quickly turns to dead areas. The grass will be easy to pull up since the roots are gone and usually areas of bare dirt will appear. Fungicides are minimally helpful and early detection is key to preventing the damage from spreading.
Helminthosporium or “Helminth”
Helminthosporium, commonly called “Helminth,” is a common hot-weather fungal infection that affects bermudagrass in Central Texas. The fungus thrives in hot weather when moisture from watering is retained in the thatch. Symptoms typically appear as small leaf spots near the collar area of the leaf blade. Severely affected leaves turn reddish-brown, then wither and die. This disease is also sometimes called “fading out.”