Cold Weather and Your Lawn
January 17, 2018
The first few weeks of 2018 has already brought the lowest sustained temperatures South Florida has experienced since 2009, as well as, above average rainfall this past fall / winter season. The combination of these two factors is causing a high frequency of disease in lawns throughout the Treasure Coast.
There are several diseases that can occur this time of year, with the most frequent being Large Patch—also called Brown Patch. Large Patch presents itself as small patches (about 1 ft in diameter) that turn yellow and then reddish brown, brown, or straw colored as the leaves start to die. Patches can expand to several feet in diameter. Although there are fungicides that can be applied to stop the spread of the disease with favorable weather, the turf must be actively growing for the lawn to recover once the disease has been eradicated.
This is where the cold temperatures come into play.
If Brown Patch becomes prevalent during periods of sustained, cold temperatures, turf recovery may not occur until soil temperatures rise to a point where the turf can begin to grow. It is also detrimental to apply fertilizer high in Nitrogen to promote recovery since this can amplify the activity of the disease.
Since fungicide applications are not included in some monthly spray services due to the high price of the chemicals and unpredictable control; homeowners can request fungicide applications as diseases present themselves.
If you are currently experiencing disease in your lawn we do recommend limiting the irrigation frequency and run times. We would be more than happy to visit with you and offer the best solution for your lawn. This may include a fungicide application or advice on how to effectively reduce your irrigation.
For more information on Large/Brown Patch, please feel free to visit this link: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh044