Brown patches in your lawn | Yates Lawn Experts

Did you know? Lawn armyworm is a common autumn lawn pest which feeds on grass blades during the late afternoon and early evening. In large numbers, armyworm can strip the turf foliage and cause rapidly expanding bare patches in lawns. Lawn armyworm are caterpillars which are wreaking havoc in lawns all around Australia, especially up and down the Australian east coast and over in Western Australia.

How to control armyworms

In large numbers, armyworm can advance like an army (hence their name), strip the turf foliage and cause rapidly expanding bare patches.

Curl grubs are the larvae of beetles, like the African Black Beetle. Sometimes they are incorrectly referred to as ‘witchetty grubs’, they are C-shaped creamy coloured grubs that live in the soil and eat through the roots of your prized lawn.

In addition to bare patches, if you see birds pecking at the lawn, it can be a sign that lawn armyworm and curl grubs are present (the birds are searching for the caterpillars).

Yates Baythroid Advanced Insect Killer for lawns will help control common lawn pests like armyworm. It’s a concentrated formulation, just follow the directions on the package for correct dilution rates.

How to control lawn diseases

Milder temperatures and any rainfall and humidity during autumn can promote the growth of lawn diseases. Lawn diseases include brown patch, winter fusarium, dollar spot and anthracnose. Lawn diseases can be hard to diagnose as signs can be similar to that of other lawn problems such as damage from insect pests like curl grubs and armyworm.

Common lawn disease symptoms include areas of small discoloured, brown, dead or dying patches in the lawn. Lawn diseases can spread and also reoccur year after year, so it’s important to get them under control and keep your lawn looking fantastic.

Here’s how to help reduce lawn diseases:

  • Mow regularly to prevent a build up of thatch and remove clippings from the lawn.

  • Water only in the mornings, to allow the lawn to dry off during the day.

  • Use a soil wetting agent like Yates Waterwise™ Soil Wetter to improve water penetration into the soil, so water is less likely to sit on the soil surface.

  • Aerate or core your lawn to improve drainage.

  • Use a fungicide such as Yates Zaleton® Dual Action Systemic Fungicide, which contains an effective combination of two fungicides to control the most common lawn diseases. It takes the guess work out of having to diagnose which lawn disease you have. Yates Zaleton can be easily applied in either a sprayer or watering can.

  • Keep your grass well fed with a lawn food that contains a good amount of potassium, such as Yates Dynamic Lifter Concentrated Lawn Food. Potassium is a nutrient that helps strengthen the lawn so it’s better able to resist disease infection. Yates Dynamic Lifter applied during autumn will also promote a lush green lawn as winter approaches and add valuable organic matter back into the soil.


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