South Africa Turf Disease Guide - Brown Patch

Disease and Insect Control
South Africa Turf Disease Guide - Brown Patch Detail

Susceptible Turfgrass:

Most species of warm and cool season turfgrass


Brown Patch lesions on Tall Fescue leaves

The symptoms of Brown Patch can vary depending on the grass cultivar, climatic and atmospheric conditions, soil, and intensity of the turfgrass management. This disease typically causes rings or patches of blighted turfgrass that measure 12 cm to more than 3 m in diameter. It also causes leaf spots and “smoke rings”– thin, brown borders around the diseased patches that appear most frequently in the early morning. Key ID tip on greens: when doing a disease check in the dew, look towards the sun. This way you may see smoke rings developing. After the leaves die in the blighted area, new leaves can emerge.

South Africa Turf Disease Guide - Brown Patch

Conditions Favouring Disease:

Brown Patch favours high relative humidity as well as temperatures of over 30°C during the day and over 15°C at night.

This disease can be quite active at cool temperatures on warm-season grasses in the Spring and Autumn as temperatures in the turfgrass canopy, which is where infection starts, can often exceed air temperatures. It also occurs in areas that experience more than 10 hours a day of foliar wetness for several consecutive days.

Brown Patch infestation is more severe when the turf is cut to a height less than the optimum for that turfgrass species from the surviving crowns. On wide-bladed species, leaf lesions develop with tan centers and dark brown to black margins.

10 Integrated Turf Management Tips:

  1. Use low to moderate amounts of nitrogen, moderate amounts of phosphorous, and moderate to high amounts of potash
  2. Avoid nitrogen applications when the disease is active
  3. Increase the height of cut
  4. Increase the air circulation
  5. Minimise the amount of shade
  6. Irrigate turf early in the day
  7. Improve soil drainage
  8. Reduce thatch
  9. Remove dew from turf early in the day
  10. For best results, use contact or penetrant fungicides to prevent Brown Patch

Just tap the links below to read about other turf diseases. Or download the full free guide at the bottom.

  1. Anthracnose
  2. Brown Patch 
  3. Brown Ring Patch (Waitea Patch) 
  4. Dollar Spot 
  5. Fairy Ring 
  6. Superficial Fairy Ring 
  7. Grey Leaf Spot 
  8. Large Patch 
  9. Microdochium Patch 
  10. Powdery Mildew 
  11. Pythium Blight 
  12. Pythium Root Rot (Root Dysfunction) 
  13. Red Thread 
  14. Rhizoctonia Zeae (Rhizoctonia leaf and sheath spot) 
  15. Rusts: Crown, Leaf and Stem 
  16. Spring Dead Spot 
  17. Summer Patch 
  18. Take-all Patch  and
  19. Take-all Root Rot 

If you would like to have a complete copy with all the turf diseases, you can download it on the link below.

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Download the full guide here (14.41 MB).