Identifying Causes of Brown Spots on Your Lawn
Keeping a green lawn free of brown spots is a great achievement because it can seem impossible. So many different things can cause dead or dying patches of grass, it’s highly irritating! The following is a list of possible causes of the brown spots in your yard. You may be able to figure out what’s happening, by doing some investigation.
Unfavorable Growing Conditions
There may be brown patches of dead grass in your yard because of poor growing conditions. Either of the following and more could be the reason:
- Tree roots and large shrubs usually claim nutrients and water, often leaving grass to wither and die. Some of the most difficult places for keeping a nice, green lawn are the areas underneath trees. After trying unsuccessfully to revive dead grass, alternate remedies include adding mulch under shrubs and trees or naturalizing the area. Naturalizing means that you add a larger area of mulch or plant groundcover that thrives in shade.
- Poor soil quality on different areas of your lawn can result in brown patches. A solution is to aerate the areas and incorporate organic matter into the soil with top-dressing. Aerating means breaking up compacted soil.
Pests and Lawn Diseases
Many different kinds of pests and lawn diseases can plague lawns. The following are a few examples.
- Chinch bugs are summertime pests, and they especially target patches of grass that are hot and sunny and located next to sidewalks and driveways. Look for pesticides that specifically target these insects, because they have proven to be impervious to many pesticides.
- Thatch is a lawn disease in which decaying grass blades grow thick and begin choking out the healthy grass. Thatch more than ½” thick should be removed.
- Grub worms attack lawns in spring and fall. You can tell if you have grub worms by lifting a piece of your lawn. If there are no roots, it’s because of grub worms. Products for grub control can be found in any garden center.
Damage by Humans or Animals
It’s easy to damage a lawn, even when you’re working hard to grow a yard full of healthy green grass. We humans and our pets are often the cause of dry patches of dead grass. The following are a few of many possible reasons:
- If lawn mower blades are set too low or if there are lumpy areas in the yard, the grass can be cut too short, causing damage. This is referred to as “scalping.” Remedies are raising your mower blades or fixing the high spots on your lawn.
- Dull lawn mower blades can damage your grass by tearing it instead of cutting it cleanly. In fall and spring, sharpen your lawn mower blades, if you determine that the grass is being torn instead of cut.
- Dog urine and the urine of other animals can create yellow spots in your yard. A canine’s urine contains a high concentration of nitrogen, which burns grass similar to the way excess fertilizer does.
More Causes of Brown Spots
If none of the above turn out to be the cause of the brown spots in your yard, do some additional research. There are many other potential causes, which is why any person with a lawn free of dead grass deserves to be commended. With persistence in addressing the causes of brown patches, that person could be you.