Fungus is the go to culprit when a lawn looks sick. And even more convenient, the cure is sold in a bottle. But are fungi the cause of sick lawns or just an imaginary monster.
Fungus and Disease Articles
Dollar Spot earned its name for the silver dollar sized spots it creates on golf greens. It is a very common disease of St Augustine lawns in Pinellas County. It is non-lethal and indicates it is time to fertilize the lawn.
There is a lot of chatter these days about Sugarcane Mosaic Virus (SMV) – the “deadly virus” attacking St Augustine turf in Pinellas County with no cure. That’s the “news”! However, what is happening in the real world is quite different. I care for one lawn confirmed with SMV (a neighbor across the street has the virus too). This article is about that lawn and my observations of that lawn. This article is not news – it is about the real world.
Those brown circular patches of dead grass in your St Augustine turf grass lawn are probably brown patch. Brown Patch forms distinct circles or joined lobed circles of brown grass with a “halo” of yellow grass. The pathogen is a soil born fungus and can not be eliminated. The Good News: Except for the worse cases, Brown Patch can be controlled with good cultural practices! With the cooler temperatures and wetter soils, Brown Patch is active in lawns in St Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater areas.
Brown Patch is caused by a fungus that when conditions are perfect, it can cause some cosmetic (not lethal) damage to St Augustine turf. The good news is it is not permanent - more like a cold that a fatal disease.