During spring and fall, the thing to look out for in your zoysia lawn is Zoysia Patch Fungus. Zoysia grass is a top choice for Atlanta lawns due to its lush color and hybrid sun/shade tolerance. However, like most grass types, it is susceptible to different diseases at certain times of the year. Knowing how to identify it and prevent it is key to protecting your lawn’s health.
What is Zoysia Patch Fungus?
Zoysia Patch, also known as Large Patch, is a common lawn disease in warm-season grasses. It reveals itself during spring and fall when a lawn is transitioning into or out of dormancy. The fungus appears in small circles of brown discoloration and will grow in size. The area of affected grass will appear sunken or dead and develop a halo of yellowish-orange color around the diameter. The disease infects the leaf sheath and crown, depriving the plant of water and nutrients. While zoysia patch does not infect the roots of the turf, it causes a slower period of recovery. Zoysia patch will commonly reappear in the same areas it has infected in previous seasons. Meaning, after experiencing the fungus in the fall, keep an eye on those areas come spring.
What Causes it?
Areas of your lawn that are most susceptible to Large Patch fungus are caused by environmental conditions. Excessive thatch, compaction, and poor drainage conditions encourage fungus. Additionally, excessive watering in the fall, either through rainfall or irrigation, will promote the disease. Because the disease attacks during slow-growing periods, in cooler, wet conditions, April and September are the months to watch out.
How to Treat
Prevention is key. In most cases of lawn disease, the damage is already done before a homeowner or landscaper can discover the issue and take action. Curative fungicides can only help so much. Because are applied after the disease has affected the lawn, they can only stop the disease from further infection. However, they will not reverse the lawn damage present. Making changes to maintenance practices and improving environmental conditions can help halt a disease. But all-in-all, preventative fungicides are the best way to handle fungus in your lawn.
- Annual aeration of your lawn in Spring
- Maintain thatch at less than ½ inch
- Preventative fungicide applications in fall and spring
- Identify and remedy drainage issues in your lawn
- Proper watering habits in the early morning hours to give enough time to dry with sunlight
A preventative fungicide program with 3 timed applications, with 2 in the fall and 1 in spring would greatly reduce the incidence and severity of Zoysia Large Patch. All Turf offers preventative fungicide programs to pair alongside our regular lawn care programs. Give us a call if you have questions or concerns about fungus in your lawn or contact us for a free quote.