Question of the Week: June 30, 2016
From Jim Scroggins of Granbury on my Facebook page: (I did tell Jim what a lovely landscape he has created.) “Neil, what’s wrong with my bermudagrass lawn? I’ve followed all the guidelines, and this one area still looks like this.”
In past years this question has almost always cropped up in late summer/early fall, but this year, for whatever the reason, I’ve had 10 or 15 inquiries about brown patches in bermuda just like this one. Chalk it up, I guess, to crazy old Texas.
This is Pythium, a water mold fungus. When this strain hits bermuda it’s called “cottony blight” or “southern blight.” You can see in this photo above that the affected area is the low spot in the lawn. You can even see that the disease has followed the track of the mower wheels where they depressed the soils, creating channels of waterlogged soils in the process.
It is most common in turf that has been fed and watered heavily (including those May and early June rains). However, I’m going to let the real plant pathologists of Texas A&M explain it in better detail. Here is their information from the Texas Plant Disease Handbook.