Monday, April 20, 2015

Brown Patch Alert and Rose Show

When writing the Horticulture Hotline, I usually do not like to get too hysterical or alarmed about any event occurring in the landscape; however, this week is an exception. I can only remember one other time in 25 years of writing this column that I put out any type of alert (and that was so long ago, I can’t remember what it was about). The fungus is among us! Fungus likes moisture and new growth and right now we have both. Turf coming out of dormancy, moisture and the temperatures we are having are the perfect conditions for lawn diseases.

Rain and night time temperatures in the 60’s is perfect weather for Large Patch (Brown Patch) disease in turf. Unless you tarp your grass like a baseball diamond, it is hard to turn off the rain. Hopefully, you have your irrigation turned off for now.

All fungus diseases must have three factors line up for there to be an active problem. This is referred to as the disease triangle. There must be a susceptible host (your grass), a favorable environment (in this case cool nights, water, grass is coming out of dormancy….), and the disease must be present (in the soil in this case). When all of these conditions are met, the disease strikes your grass.

The quick fix would be to apply Cleary’s 3336 or Disarm throughout the yard. Cleary’s or Disarm are systemic fungicides that get into the plant (grass) and protect the grass plant from the disease. Getting a flu shot would be a human equivalent. With weather like this, plan on multiple applications of a fungicide, rotating chemistries. Applying the product before you get the disease, when you notice conditions are right, will save you money and time applying the product. You wouldn’t get a flu shot after you had the flu. Unlike the flu shot, Cleary’s and Disarm do have curative rates.

A general fungicide like Honor Guard for your ornamentals would also be a good idea to prevent disease. Insects like the new tender foliage also, so maybe mix in some insecticide when you spray. Bifen is a good broad spectrum insecticide.

The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society’s 23rd annual Rose Show is going to be at Cypress Gardens on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 1:00 to 4:30. The Rose Show is dedicated to Dr. Frank Heinsohn whose name is well known in the rose community both locally and beyond. Photography is a new section of competition this year. For more information go to

What a deal! For only 10.00 (adults), 9.00 (seniors), 5.00 (children) you can see the cypress swamps (even take a boat ride), butterfly house, turtles, reptile house, walking trails, gardens and all the other many attractions of Cypress Gardens  plus ROSES! There will be roses from world class exhibitors as well as backyard enthusiast. If you are photographer, you can take a picture of anyone’s rose and even Photoshop it! Again for more information go to

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.