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Learn Your Lawn: Take-All Patch

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What Is Take-All Patch?


Take-All Patch, also called “Root Rot,” is a common fungal disease that affects the roots of grass plants, particularly in golf courses and lawns. It attacks lawns that are already stressed, weakened, and susceptible to disease. Take-All Patch disease causes yellowing and wilting of the grass plants, leading to the formation of patchy, bare areas in the lawn. Symptoms often appear in spring or early summer, when the turfgrass emerges from winter dormancy. However, the disease can appear at any time during the growing season when the grass is stressed by heat, drought, shade, alkaline soil, or high-sodium water. 


Take-All Patch can be a serious problem for warm-season grasses such as Zoysiagrass, Centipedegrass, and Bermudagrass. It can also be a problem in St. Augustine grass throughout the southern United States, where it may be confused with another fungal disease called Brown Patch. 


The fungus that causes Take-All Patch can produce spores, but it spreads mainly through the roots and stolons. It is not usually transmitted by mowing equipment or foot traffic. Instead, it is more likely to be spread when infected grass, thatch, or soil is moved from one location to another. 


How Can I Control Take-All Patch In My Lawn?


Take-All Patch is very difficult to control, as it thrives in warm and humid environments, especially during periods of extended rainfall or high humidity. In most cases, the spread of the disease will be reduced by changes in weather, but you can also adjust some cultural practices to improve the health of the lawn and limit the spread. However, depending on the size of the infestation and the scope of the damage, other forms of control may be necessary.


A thick, healthy, well-maintained lawn is the best line of defense. Here’s how you can adjust your beneficial cultural practices to reduce the spread of Take-All Patch:

  • Core Aeration: Aerating your lawn can improve soil drainage and help reduce the likelihood of lawn diseases. This will also alleviate soil compaction and allow water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil.

  • Fertilize Regularly: Regular applications of Weed Man’s specially formulated, slow-release granular fertilizer will help provide your lawn with adequate nutrients. These applications are timed specifically to avoid over fertilizing the lawn.

  • Watering: Under normal circumstances, you should be watering your lawn a few times per week for 30-45 minutes in each area. During hot and dry periods, most lawns should be watered as much as required to maintain its desired green color. Always water in the early morning so the turf has time to dry by nightfall.

  • Mowing: Maintain a regular mowing schedule with a razor sharp blade. Never remove more than a ⅓ of the grass blade at each mowing.


Recommended Mowing Height

Common Bermudagrass - ¾ to 1¼ inches

Hybrid Bermudagrass - ½ to 1½  inches

Centipedegrass - 1 to 2 inches

Zoysiagrass - 1 to 2½ inches

St. Augustine - 3 to 4 inches

Fescue - 3 to 4 inches


Your local Weed Man professional may be able to offer other solutions and recommend the best form of treatment that is available to improve the conditions of your lawn.