Thursday, November 7, 2013

Brown Patch / Large Patch and Moles

Large Patch / Brown Patch exploded once again in our yards. We almost sent out an email alert, but I figured most knowledgeable readers of the Horticulture Hotline could figure out that something was not right with their lawn. I did not want to be an alarmist. These warmer temperatures and high humidity weather have been perfect for the disease.

If you have areas of your grass that are yellowing in a circular pattern or just random yellowing, you may want to consider using a fungicide. Be sure to identify the disease first, so you choose the right product to control the problem.

One way to identify the disease is to pull on a yellow leave blade. If it is Large Patch / Brown Patch it will separate right where the leaf blade meets the runner (the crown). Make sure the leaf is completely yellow. There will be a dark discolored area where the leave is rotting at the base. If you pull on a healthy green leaf, the leaf will break at your thumb not at the base. A healthy leaf will be well connected at the crown.

There are many control methods for large patch. Visit a local Possum’s for the one that fits your needs best. Chemical, organic, and cultural practices combined together are usually the best way to manage this soil borne disease.

I’m sure you have noticed that the mole is very busy looking for food. Always best to manage this furry little critter with a three pronged approach. There are organic, chemical, and cultural ways to control the mole as well.

If you kill the mole, manage the food source in the ground, and repel them from your landscape, you are going to enjoy the most success. If you use an insecticide, be sure you get one that is effective against sub surface insects.

I went into a box store the other day to use their restroom, and right by the door was four pallets of different “winterizing fertilizers”. These products were designed for our northern neighbors (rye, fescue, and blue grass) not our Lowcountry grasses. Be careful!