Did your lawn get burned from summer heat? Or maybe your grass is getting brown patches?
Looking to turn your lawn green overnight?
This is crazy but, some people turn to painting their grass green with turf colorants when they get in a pinch.
But is it a good idea to spray paint your lawn, and are there better options?
Today we will take a look at when you should consider painting your lawn green...
And when you shouldn't!
Help! My grass is brown, and I need it fixed immediately!
Whether you have a birthday party, wedding event or you just can’t be one-upped by the neighbor. If your lawn has suddenly turned brown and you want to fix it immediately, what can you do?
Well, like it or not. Unless you want to pay to have your yard re-soded. The fastest way to get the lawn to magically turn green in a pinch is to paint it green.
Painting a lawn green only takes a few minutes. And it is truly a cheap fix when you are in a pinch.
But should you resort to painting your lawn green? After all, golf courses and sports fields do it.
Well, the simple answer is it depends.
Below are 4 scenarios.
Scenario #1: Brown Patches In Your Lawn
Brown patches are common, and they are frequently caused by diseases in the lawn. But there are a lot of other causes as well.
Whether you should paint the lawn or not really depends on what your issue is.
Ultimately, it’s best to find the core issue and resolve what is causing your lawn to turn brown first, especially because the problem could get worse.
For example, there are many fungi and molds that can impact the lawn's health, and some may result in brown patches of grass. While lawn paint may cover up the dead grass, the issue will continue to get worse until addressed.
Should I paint my lawn? Yes, you can, but first, you should figure out the cause of the brown patches in the lawn. If you can’t figure it out yourself contact a lawn care pro who can. Once you have found and treated the cause, painting the lawn can cover up the blemish until the lawn is repaired. If you paint the lawn before solving the issue, the problem may get worse.
Scenario #2: My Whole Lawn is Brown (Summer)
If your whole lawn is brown, more than likely your lawn has gone dormant for one of 2 reasons:
And winter dormancy.
Summer heat is one of the most common causes of entire lawns turning brown. The biggest reason lawns turn brown in summer heat is due to being cut too short. Which causes the grass to become dormant. To avoid this it’s best to cut the lawn higher as the summer heat approaches.
While a dormant lawn may be inevitable, it can typically be avoided by cutting the grass higher, and properly watering the lawn.
Should I paint my lawn? Yes. If your whole lawn is brown due to summer heat. Your only option may be to paint it.
Pro Tip! Dull blades can also cause your lawn to turn brown as the blades will tear rather than cut the grass. Be sure to sharpen your lawn mower blades frequently.
Scenario #3: My Whole Lawn is Brown (Winter)
Winter dormancy on the other hand is largely dependent on the grass variety. And the only way to fix it is to overseed with a winter green variety.
Most lawn care pros will opt to overseed with a winter rye seed variety.
If your lawn is brown due to winter dormancy aeration and overseeding is your best option.
Should I paint the lawn? If it is due to winter dormancy, you should not paint your lawn. Aeration and overseeding is a much better option. However, turf colorant can be used safely in this scenario if you prefer.
Scenario #4: Children and Pets Are Present
Do you have children and pets on the property you want to paint?
Then you may be wondering, is lawn paint safe?
Fortunately, the answer is simply YES. Generally, lawn paint is pet and child friendly. And even safe for the environment.
Should I paint the lawn? Yes, painting the lawn is safe even if children and pets are present. Paint that is marketed for lawns is safe for pets and children once it’s dry. However, you want to be sure that the paint is dry on the lawn before any pets or children go on the lawn.
Aeration and Overseeding Vs. Painting the Lawn
Here’s the deal, the best way to deal with a brown lawn in the fall and winter months is to aerate and overseed.
Aeration is a crucial part of lawn care and should be done at least once annually. If you are dealing with a brown lawn in the cooler months, consider aerating and overseeding rather than painting the lawn.
Aeration will help your lawn retain moisture and grow stronger roots. Giving it a better chance to make it through the following year without dormancy.
You may also consider installing turf to deal with a brown lawn in the summer if you absolutely need to. But in some areas, summer heat will cause any type of grass to go dormant.
Painting Your Lawn Green At the End of the Day
Should You Paint Your Lawn Green? When It's a Good Idea (and When It's Not)
Here's a quick summary of when it might make sense to paint your lawn, and when you should consider other options:
When painting might be a good idea:
Your whole lawn is brown due to summer heat.
You have brown patches and need a quick fix for a special event.
You need a pet-safe and child-safe way to temporarily green up your lawn.
When to consider other options:
Your lawn has brown patches due to pests, fungus, or other issues.
Your whole lawn is brown due to winter dormancy.
You want a long-term solution for a healthy, green lawn.
In my opinion, a painted lawn isn’t ideal. That being said, it truly is a great solution if you are in a pinch.
In general, aeration and overseeding is the best way to deal with a brown lawn in the fall and winter months. However, painting can be a good temporary solution in certain situations.
And honestly, as strange as it seems, painting your lawn is actually a solid solution to make your lawn look better if push comes to shove. After all, even golf courses turn toward turf colorants when courses turn brown.
And, to prevent a brown lawn next year, check out our guide to lawn care.
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