Brown Patch is one of the more common diseases we see in lawns in the area, especially in St. Augustine. The disease is caused by a fungus and usually starts out a small brown ring that begins to grow 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 also see brown patches on the individual blades. It can be treated with fungicides.
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. This will cause areas of the lawn to look drought stressed. 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 are the best treatment.
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, 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 infection can thin out an entire lawn. For this reason, this disease is also sometimes called “fading out.”