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Patch disease should now be treated much earlier in the season

One of the most destructive of all lawn diseases is known as patch.

What’s most surprising about patch disease is that your lawn will appear perfectly healthy one day and then virtually overnight (with ideal weather conditions) large “patches” of your lawn are completely, and many times, irreversibly destroyed.

Dr. Jason Fausey, Director of Technical Services at Nufarm Americas says, “We have seen in many areas an increase in patch diseases. In recent years, trends towards warmer temperatures with unpredictable dry weather, followed by heavy rainfalls have contributed to this increase. Each patch disease is unique and has a specific set of ideal environmental conditions that allow for it to thrive.”


Beyond the unsightly appearance patch disease causes, its destructive nature is caused by fungal pathogens, which infect both the crown and roots systems of your lawn. The more stress your lawn is experiencing during the growing season, the more susceptible it is to diseases such as patch.


“Without healthy roots and crowns the turf plants can be killed or function poorly, especially when placed under environmental stresses, such as summer heat in the case of cool-season grasses,” says Dr. Joseph Rimelspach, Program Specialist in The Ohio State University Turfgrass Pathology Program.

Stressors include very hot conditions, drought and excessive rainfall leading to saturated root systems. Typically, patch disease is found in areas known to experience extreme weather conditions.

The most important thing when treating patch disease is accurate diagnosis and detailed records of your lawn’s condition from one season to the next.

Rimelspach adds, “If you have had patch diseases, early pre-symptom applications of effective fungicides with proper placement are critical.”

Soil temperatures often dictate when treatments can be applied to your lawn. You can click here to enter your zip code to learn what soil temperature your area is currently recording. While it was generally thought that treatments should only be made when soil temperatures were in the low 60s, temperature fluctuations due to climate change have altered the rules.

Experts at Rutgers University now believe treatments should be done much earlier. In a recent blog post, Jim Murphy writes, “Dr. Clarke recommends that treatment of turf with a history of take-all patch be initiated when soil temperature averages 40 to 60 °F.” For many areas across the country, the time to act is now.

If your lawn has experienced patch disease in prior years, SavATree recommends preventative treatments in order to combat the disease before it emerges from dormancy. Additionally, if you live in an area prone to extreme weather conditions as mentioned above, preventative treatments are encouraged.

For a free consultation, contact SavATree today.