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How To Fix Brown Spots In Your Lawn

Other Reasons Your Grass Is Turning Brown And Dying

How to fix brown patches in your lawn
  • Your lawn may have buried debris thats causing problems.
  • Sloping yards could have an erosion issue. Ground covers are a great way to reduce erosion on slopes. Succulents make pretty, easy-to-care for ground covers.
  • Tree roots make growing grass tough but you can do it when you use shade-tolerant grasses within your climate zone.
  • Different areas of your lawn require different care, and thats especially true of sunny spots. If your grass is turning brown, it could be because its not getting enough water. Lawns typically need an inch of water a week to stay healthy. Picking the right sprinkler for spots in your yard is one of the best ways to keep it healthy.
  • If different spots of your yard turned brown, you may just have a mix of grasses. Some grasses will go dormant while others will continue to grow.

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Drought Or Lack Of Water

Lake of water in areas of the lawn can lead to brown spots. If you irrigation system isnt functioning properly in the heat of summer it can leave areas without the proper water to thrive.

Fix Lack of Water: Monitor your irritation system to ensure proper lawn coverage. You may need to adjust your sprinkler heads or have an irrigation expert check your system.

How To Spot The Fungus

The funny thing about brown patch is that it doesnt start out brown at all. In fact, the first signs of trouble are when a circular or oblong pattern of light-yellow discoloration appears in your grass. Eventually, the affected area will turn from orange to tan. It will continue to spread outward, sometimes leaving small green patches at the center. The discoloration is caused when the fungus infects each leaf, causing them to rot.

Brown patch fungus can affect all cool-season grasses, but it is especially harmful to ryegrass and tall fescue. Brown patch also affects a variety of warm-season grasses, including St. Augustine grass, Bermuda, and zoysiagrass.

One of the most frustrating aspects of brown patch is that once you spot it, the damage is already done and the fungus is thriving. The trick to successfully eradicating brown patch is understanding the fungus lives beyond where the eye can see, in your soil. When the conditions are right, the fungus strikes, making preventive measures all the more important.

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How To Get Rid Of Dog Spots

Soak the patch until the grass is sopping wet to dilute the urine acids and salts and wash them deeper into the soil, beyond the grass roots.

Scrape up the dead grass with a hand rake and remove it. Rough up the area to loosen the soil 1/2-in. deep. Seeds germinate better in soft soil.

Sprinkle on a 1/2-in.-thick layer of topsoil, then pepper it with grass seed. Cover with a pinch of new soil and press it to firm it up. Keep the area moist until the new grass is about three inches high.

How To To Get Rid Of Brown Patch Fungus On Grass

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Many conditions can cause patches of brown, dead grass on your lawn, but only one gets the official name brown patch. Brown patch disease is a condition caused by a single species of fungus, Rhizoctonia, that often occurs in mid- to late-summer when the weather is hot and humid.

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Brown Patch Disease Caused By Fungus

The most common cause of brown spots on the lawn is called brown patch disease which is a fungal outbreak. A fungus is most often caused by extremely wet or humid environments. However, outside of natural elements, a fungal outbreak can also be caused by manual overwatering.

When a fungus is responsible for brown spots in the lawn, they will appear as irregular patches throughout the yard. They may be centralized to one location, usually the portion of your yard with poor drainage. Shady regions of the yard or areas that dont receive proper airflow can also become victims of a fungal outbreak.

How to stop Brown Patch Disease: Make sure not to over water the lawn and allow it to dry out some. Also treat the fungus in your lawn. Read our article on Recognizing & Treating Lawn Fungus: What You Need to Know.

Kill brown patch disease with lawn fungicide.

Do Repair The Lawn With The Right Method

First, you have to get the problem under control. Whether a pro diagnoses a disease, a pest, or an environmental concern , you need to address the problem so that it doesnt keep coming back.

Once thats done, then youll need to apply the right method of repair. For the vast majority of cases, aeration and overseeding will restore the dead patches in your lawn.

While there are other more intensive repair methods out there, which tend to be quite costly, even in some of the worst cases weve seen, aeration and overseeding have been effective at repairing dead patches.

Of course, its important to ensure that its performed properly. There is a best time to repair a lawn, which is in the fall when new grass seed will be able to thrive.

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Dont Just Apply More Fertilizer

Similar to watering, a lot of homeowners are inclined to throw down extra fertilizer assuming this will solve how to turn brown grass green. Actually, we find that a lot of homeowners believe the more fertilizer added to their lawn, the better.

The truth is, most summer lawn diseases are actually aggravated by too much quick release nitrogen fertilizer. If youve unknowingly hired a lawn care company that uses quick-release nitrogen fertilizer , and your lawn is struggling with turf disease, it could make it a lot worse.

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Fixing brown patches on your lawn – Green Home

Green Again Pro has two colors to fix brown spots in your lawn. Which color is best for your lawn type? Here is a list of grasses that are found in lawns and the product that is best to fix those brown spots in the lawn.

Green Again Pro Warm Season

  • St. Augustine grass

Green Again Pro Cool Season

  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Annual Ryegrass

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How To Repair Bald Spots In Your Lawn

Learn how to fix bald spots in your lawn by repairing with seed or patching with sod.

Does your lawn have bald spots that need repair? We can help you with some easy steps for patching or seeding those problem areas and getting the lush lawn you’re after.

Shutterstock/Dean Clarke

Before turf can be treated, you need to determine the cause of the problem. If you eliminate fungi, bugs, grubs or other pests as causes, you may just need some seeds.

Once the ground temperature warms to about 52 degrees Fahrenheit, seeds will grow. Good seed-to-soil contact will get the seeds germinating fast.

How To Fix Dog Urine Spots On Lawns

Sharing your yard with a canine companion can be one of the best parts of having a lawnuntil dog urine lawn spots and other dog damage show up in your carpet of green. By learning how to fix dog urine spots on lawns and prevent other dog-related lawn damage, you and your dog can coexist harmoniously and enjoy a beautiful, lush lawn.

Get your four-legged buddy on board and follow these basics for simple, effective dog urine grass repair:

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How To Maintain Your Lawn To Help Reduce Brown Patch

A healthy lawn is a stronger lawn and will be better able to withstand fungal diseases like brown patch. Follow these guidelines:

  • Plant disease-resistant varieties and seed mixtures. For example, Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue® Mix for Tall Fescue Lawns combines improved turf-type tall fescue varieties with a heat-tolerant Kentucky bluegrass to help reduce the impact of brown patch on your lawn.
  • Reduce the amount of time the grass blades are wet. When needed, water during the early morning hours. Dont water between 7:00 PM and 3:00 AM, as the blades will stay wet overnight.
  • Feed the lawn regularly with Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food. Be sure to follow label directions, as overfed lawns are more susceptible to brown patch.
  • Unless it is a controlled-release product, dont apply nitrogen fertilizer when hot, humid weather is expected .

Since wet conditions help promote brown patch, make sure your lawn has good drainage and air flow, and consider pruning overgrown trees to prevent too much shade and increase air movement for faster drying. It may also be helpful to aerate and dethatch the lawn every 1 to 3 years to allow air, water, and nutrients to move more freely into the soil.

How To Plant Grass Seed In Bare Spots

How to fix brown patches in your lawn

Perhaps you are already familiar with how to seed your lawn. However, reseeding dead spots in a lawn calls for added attention to detail. We have outlined the steps on how to plant grass seed in bare spots for your next lawn repair.

  • Remove Debris

Before you start seeding the brown patch, remove any leaves or debris from the area to avoid damage. This removes any obstacles in distributing the seeds evenly among the dead grass. If the brown patch in your lawn was caused by urine or chemical spills, thoroughly rinse the area several times before reseeding to dilute any harmful chemicals.

  • Break up the Soil

Refresh the soil of the brown patch by taking a rake or a garden cultivator to till the ground in your summer yard. This will help ensure that the soil is loose and ready to take in the new seed.

  • Add Compost

Using compost is a great way to add nutrients back into the soil. Add a 2 to 3-inch layer of compost or loamy soil and use the rake again to mix it with the existing soil.

  • Even out the Surface

Use the top of the rake to make a flat and even surface to start sprinkling the grass seed.

Evenly distribute a thin layer of grass seed over your brown patch.

  • Protect the Seeds

If you choose to sprinkle the seed on top without pre-mixing it in the soil, place a thin layer of straw over the area to prevent birds from eating the seeds. Once the grass starts to bud, remove the straw.

  • Keep the Area Lightly Watered
  • Lightly Fertilize
  • Wait to Mow
  • Monitor the Area

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Why Does Grass Turn Brown How Are You Watering The Grass

If youre watering your lawn with a hose, you probably arent watering evenly. This leaves certain areas of your lawn thirsty, while others are overwatered. This not only causes brown patches in your lawn but can needlessly increase your water bill. Plus, with technology advancing, sprinkler systems can be programmed to deliver the right amount of water to where its needed.

How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Peeing In My Yard

Assuming youre not going to water every time your dog urinates on the yard, the best method is to train your dog to only go to the bathroom in one part of the yard. This takes time and commitment. It requires you to take your dog outside to a particular spot, wait for it to go, and then give it a treat and praise.

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Grasses Most Commonly Affected With Brown Spots

Get this! Brown patches are more common in some types of grass than others.

These patches normally start as a small spot, but can quickly spread outwards in a circular or horseshoe pattern several feet wide.

The grasses most commonly affected by brown patches are:

  • Bermuda,
  • St. Augustine,
  • and Ryegrass.

KEEP IN MIND: if you have a crabgrass lawn, you may experience brown patches frequently. If this is the case, you may want to consider selecting a better grass seed.

Symptoms Of Fertilizer Burn

How to fix brown spots in your lawn

Fertilizer burn varies by severity, but it always has roughly the same symptom: discoloration.

Mild fertilizer burn is when your lawn starts to yellow slightly or has brown streaks through it. When you touch mildly overfertilized grass, itll still feel flexible and wont break when you bend a grass blade.

With severe fertilizer burn, the grass will turn a shade of brown or tan. In severely overfertilized grass, the blades also become brittle and break if you attempt to bend them.

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How To Prevent Brown Patch

The fungus thrives on conditions that leave your lawn damp for 48 hours or more, making mid-late summer prime time for it to thrive with damage rearing its ugly head in the fall. Not to mention excessive irrigation, rainfall, and humidity all exacerbate the problem. For this reason, water management is key to preventing brown patch. Irrigation should only be used to supplement rainfall. Rain sensors and smart controllers solve for this and ensure youre not overwatering.

One of the toughest parts about treating brown patch is that its likely to reoccur in lawns that have previously struggled with the fungus. If your lawn tends to be affected by brown patch annually, your landscape partner will probably prescribe a prophylactic fungicide application in the fall, with follow-up applications at regular intervals as the weather continues to cool.

Even if your lawn has been spared, you should still remain vigilant. Brown patch can remain dormant in soil for years until favorable conditions are achieved. In fact, some properties that struggle with brown patch might notice signs of infection subside when the weather warms, only to return later in the year when conditions become favorable once more.

Foot Traffic Or Furniture

High wear can make it hard for your grass to grow. If your family and pets often tread the same route through your hard, this consistent traffic may create dead patches.

Leaving patio furniture, toys, or anything else on your grass for even a weekend can block sunlight and water from reaching the roots of your grass, causing dead spots. Almost anything, if left for long enough, can damage grass tarps, kiddie pools, chairs, or cars can leave behind a brown patch in their wake.

How to Prevent it

Reroute where your family and pets walk to give your grass a break. Also consider installing a stone, gravel, or mulch path where your family walks frequently.

To help grass under a trampoline stay healthy, one trick is to put a sprinkler underneath it whenever its not in use to make sure it still gets water. If youre going to put out a temporary pool, put it over a tarp first and try to move it around the yard throughout the summer so no one area gets too much damage.

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How To Repair A Lawn With Seed

  • Using a sharp spade or shovel, cut the area around the dead turf.
  • Use the flat part of the spade to lift off the dead turf.
  • Because you are removing at least a couple of inches of thatch and grass, fill in the area with some clean topsoil to keep it level with the rest of the yard.
  • Rake out the area until it is smooth and there are no big clumps in the soil.
  • Cast a thin layer of seeds on the area, and then gently rake the seeds into the topsoil.
  • Cover it with straw to hold in moisture and protect the seeds from birds.
  • If your lawn seems thin all over, try overseeding it. The basics are the same as patching.

    Patching Your Lawn05:58

    Treat Lawn Fungi Brown Patch Disease

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    Since the replication of brown patch disease is facilitated by overnight moisture on warm days, its advisable to avoid nighttime irrigation during the summer.

    The recommended practice would be to water your Bermuda grass lawn in the morning during warm days, giving your lawn enough time to dry off by the sundown. This denies the fungi within your turf the moisture they need to reproduce.

    Prune nearby plants to ensure sufficient airflow above your Bermuda grass, thereby establishing a non-conducive environment for fungal growth.

    Alternatively, you can apply anti-fungal pesticides/fungicides such as Southern AG Liquid Copper Fungicide. However, the high expenses associated with the treatment of Bermuda grass fungi is one reason why this is one problem you might want to prevent rather than cure.

    The anti-fungal pesticide application schedule for treating brown patch disease over a standard-size lawn area for instance should be done every fortnight.

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    Replacing Grass With Fertilizer Burn

    If you determine your burned turf is beyond repair or isnt responding to your attempts to repair it through watering, youll have to replace it to make your lawn lush again.

    Though the process is similar to ripping up any grass and replacing it with new sod, there are a few extra steps to take along the way.

    Step 1: Remove the Old Grass

    If the affected area is small enough, remove the dead grass by raking it out with a hard rake. If the burned area is too large for manual removal, use a sod cutter to cut up the dead grass, then roll it up like a rug and remove it.

    Step 2: Prepare the Soil

    Prepare the soil for the new grass by tilling or aerating it to loosen any compacted soil. Once loosened, test the soils nutrient and pH levels with a home soil test from a lawn and garden store. Amend the soil if its short on nutrients or the pH levels arent acceptable.

    Level the soil with the backside of a hard rake.

    Step 3: Lay the Sod or Reseed

    When replacing the grass, you can either lay new sod for an immediate repair or reseed it to reduce cost.

    If youre laying sod, simply place the sod on the leveled soil. When you get to the perimeter, use a sod knife to trim the sod pieces to fit. Walk over the newly sodded area and use your feet to stomp down any uneven areas.

    Step 4: Water and Wait

    When mowing your lawn, avoid the area you laid seeds or sod until the new grass is 3 inches tall or the sod no longer lifts when you pull up on it.

    Step 5: Mow and Maintain

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