Does your grass have brown patches?
With all the rain we’ve been having, some lawns are struggling to dry out, causing the root system to die.
Speaking the ABC, Brisbane-based horticulturalist Kate Wall said: "They [grass roots] need to breathe air, even though they're in the soil, and they need water — it's tiny air spaces in the soil that are really important," she said.
Kate added that waterlogging can lead to fungus growing on your lawn.
"It's not the same black mould we get in our house. But there are so many different varieties of fungus," she said.
What is grass brown patch disease
One common fungus type is brown patch, a summer fungus that thrives when the humidity is high.
Brown patch is a common lawn disease affecting grasses in various regions. Brown patch is particularly prevalent in warm-season grasses, such as buffalo grass, couch grass, and kikuyu grass.
The disease typically manifests as circular or irregular brown or tan grass patches, often surrounded by a darker, greenish ring. The affected areas can range from a few inches to several feet in diameter.
How to treat brown patch
John Atkins is the manager at Amaroo Landscapes in Sydney. He says you can use fungicides to treat brown patch early on after ensuring the spots aren’t caused by other issues like pests - beetles and worms.
“The key issue is wet conditions causing the fungi to grow,” says John, adding, "For example, poorly draining soil, damming of water or letting your grass grow too long so the roots don’t dry.”
Here are some steps you can take to prevent a waterlogged and soggy lawn and, in turn, fungus.
1. Improve drainage
Identify and address any drainage issues in your lawn. Poor drainage can contribute to waterlogging. Consider adding drains or channels to redirect excess water away from the lawn.
Aerate your lawn to improve soil compaction and enhance air circulation. Aeration involves perforating the soil with holes to allow water, nutrients, and air to penetrate the roots.
Apply a thin layer of compost over the surface. If using store-bought compost, ensure the layer is thin as it will be high in nitrogen. The last thing your lawn needs right now is to be fertilised with too much nitrogen.