The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are slowly sinking. Now is the time to keep an eye peeled for fungus. Especially Brown Patch fungus. It will affect all types of grass but really likes St Augustine. The best ways to prevent Brown Patch fungus (and other lawn fungi as well) is to change the way we fertilize, water, mow, and maintain the mower. You should have already fertilized but if not stay away from water-soluble nitrogen (fast release), instead look for water-insoluble nitrogen (slow release or time release). During cool weather, we should only water in the morning and never in the evening. This methodology applies to spring watering. At the first sign of brown patch, start bagging the lawn clipping. The final step is mower maintenance. (Important safety tip to follow) With the mower turned off spray the tires, blades and underside of the deck with a 50% mixture of water and bleach. This will kill any attached fungal spores and keep it from spreading. Let it dry for about 20 minutes and you are good to go.
You should be on the lookout for fungal issues during this time of the year. Detecting a problem early makes it much easier to cure. If you find yourself with a fungal problem, there are both all-natural and synthetic fungicides available. One of the best in the all-natural arena is horticultural cornmeal. On the synthetic side is Ferti-lome’s Liquid Systemic Fungicide and their best is called F-Stop. Wells Brothers has F-Stop granulated in 10lbs, 20lbs bags, and F-Stop 32oz ready to spray. Fungicides only work if a fungus is present. There are no preventive fungicides, they are all curative. Remember this is a process, not an event. Please read and follow the label directions.