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There are brown spots in my lawn every summer, some are round and others are ribbon shaped. What can I do to prevent this problem?

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Assuming there is no evidence of insect damage at crown or root level or damage from dog urine, it is probably one of two fungal diseases:
NECROTIC RING SPOT, is a cool season disease, becomes evident during March through May and September through November, particularly on 2 to 5-year-old bluegrass lawns established from sod.  Showing as dead circles or arches of browning lawn, ranging in size from a few inches to several feet surrounded by a patch of green lawn, giving a doughnut appearance. 
SUMMER PATCH is a warm season disease, becoming evident May through September with symptoms similar to necrotic ring spot. 
Recommendation: Treatment for fungal diseases: 
1) control thatch buildup with regular core aeration (at least once a year). 
2) water less frequently but to greater depth (soil should be moistened 8 – 10 inches deep)
3) remove layers of leaves from lawn during winter.

Posted on 13 Jun 2006

Karl Hauptfleisch
Salt Lake Master Gardener

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