What is causing these brown patches in my yard?

Written by Gene Caballero on September 16, 2016

All lawns are not perfect. Some homeowners are fanatical about how their lawns look and will go above and beyond to make sure that the fertilization treatments are done on a perfect quarterly basis, are watered on a daily basis, and mowed every 5-7 days. On the other hand, there are plenty of homeowners that simply cut the grass because they don’t want a fine from the city. Either way, both homeowners are not immune to brown spots in their lawn. One can do everything right and then suddenly there's a patch of grass that is dead or is dying. There are a number of causes of brown causes and we will examine those shortly.

According to Miracle-Grow, Brown Patches are most common to Bermuda, Kentucky, Bluegrass, Centipede Grass, Bent Grass, St. Augustine, and ryegrass. They normally start as a small spot and can quickly spread outwards in a circular or horseshoe pattern up to a few feet wide.

So how can you prevent these brown spots in your lawn? Let's first identify what the causes could be. So what GreenPal did was reach out to some local lawn pros to help us answer the question to what causes for this crop-circle type activity.

John Mojica with SAO Group Land Maintenance in Buford, Georgia warns us to check our mower blades first. 

"Improper mowing can cause a lot of problems with your lawn. Dull mower blades tend to rip grass blades instead of cutting them, allowing the tips to dry out. Also, cutting it too low, or scalping it, allows the grass to crown and soil below to dry too quickly."

Will Cagle of Cagles Cuts in Pevely, Missouripoints most of the brown spots to man's best friend. 

"Our 4 legged friends are probably the culprit for some of the brown spots or urine spots that show up in our lawns. Other large birds and certainly other animals can cause those as well but most of the time it’s the family dogs that tend to relieve themselves in the same location."

Kristen Burnsed with the K Company in Orlando, Florida warns that it could be caused by chemicals. 

"Fertilizer, herbicides, gasoline, kerosene, and pesticides can cause brown spots if spilled. If fertilizer is not applied properly or incorrectly, it can burn the grass. I have seen it too many times. Some insect repellents can also burn your lawn so be careful when applying that as well."

So now that we have identified what could be a cause of brown spot, How can you fix it? GreenPal reached out to more lawn care pros to find out.

Sean Fitzpatrick of Sean's Lawn Care in Nashville, Tennessee tells his homeowners to aerate the area. 

"Dethatch, aerate, and fertilize. If possible, reduce the shade to the affected area and keeping a fertilization schedule will help quickly remove those brown patches. Nothing will be instant but those will quickly reduce the time your lush lawn's down time."

Chance Rosenberger of Curb Appeal Landscape in Charlotte, North Carolina says temporarily watering those areas will help. 

"All lawns are different and are sensitive when it comes to watering, either because they have too much or too little of it. One inch per week is plenty but if your lawn is starting to dry out in some spots, increase your watering efforts just a little. This will help revitalize your dead grass."

Whether it's your 4-legged friend or you mower blades causing these ugly brown spots, following these tips can help get your lawn back into tip top shape.

Check out some of GreenPal's other articles

Hackyhc

Hiring through Craiglist without getting scammed

Written by Gene Caballero on September 26, 2017

131115 dog eating grass2

The real reason your dog is eating grass

Written by Gene Caballero on August 23, 2017