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What Causes Brown Spots In My Lawn

It is nice to have a lush green lawn, yet there are times you begin seeing brown patches appear. If you stand there wondering why is my lawn turning brown in spots.

You can find a number of issues that cause brown spots on the lawn, and some more straightforward to deal with than others. A brown patch or two may be nothing more than your mower blades are not sharp, and it has caused a patch of dead grass.

Although, other reasons may cause brown spots on lawn. Here you can learn all you need to know about lawn care for these brown patches and, ultimately, how to fix brown spots in lawn for good.

Brown Patches in Lawn

Why Is Grass Green?

You can get all technical about why is the grass green, and it is the pigment in the grass blades called chlorophyll. After this, the chlorophyll absorbs blue light and red light, and it reflects the green light is what we can see. Hence, we see green grass. (Read Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower)

In simple terms, if your grass is green, it is healthy. If it happens to be any other color, it isn’t producing chlorophyll, and thus it can’t reflect the green light, and it will turn brown spots around your grass.

Grass is Brown

It is here you find many reasons why a lawn brown patch appears from as if out of nowhere and without reason. In the most basic, it is because grass roots can’t grab any nutrients or water from the soil, and thus, they can’t feed and begin to die.

Here are the main culprits that cause these brown spots or your lawn to turn brown.

Drought and Heat

In high heat periods, when there is low water, a large number of turfgrasses fall into a dormant state, and you can see a brown patch in the areas with the most light. It can be a normal state yet worrying if it is your lawn. It is normal, and grass will fully recover once temperatures fall and wet weather returns. (Read When is the Best Time to Lay Sod?)

Incorrect Sprinkler Placement

If you see brown patches in heatwaves, make sure your sprinklers are reaching every part of your lawn.


You can find if you have weeds, these can overthrow your grass in the fight for nutrients. You will need to apply a pre-emergent herbicide come spring to stop weeds from taking over and stop a brown patch in those areas. (Read How Long After Weed Killer Can I Plant Grass Seed)


There are many diseases; and types of lawn fungus that can create brown patches on your lawn.

  • Grubs: Common in mid to late summer and can be seen if you peel back sod easily as if it were a carpet.
  • Ching Bugs: Also common in summer and warm-season grasses beside drives and pathways. Check your shoes for black and white adults.
  • Lawn Fungus: Brown patch is one of the worst diseases for your lawn. You can find other lawn fungi diseases spread in damp conditions. Midsummer when it is hot and humid as this provides the ideal conditions. To rectify this, you need to increase air circulation and the amount of sunlight on your grass in humid weather. Doing so changes the states from being favorable for these fungi and lawn diseases.
  • Thatch: You find this as a buildup of decaying grass that chokes the healthy grass. Most often, you get this from poor lawn care. (Read How to Dethatch a Lawn with a Rake)

Grass is Dying

If your grass is patchy and you can fix this with reseeding, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Take a sharp shovel and cut around your dead turf and remove
  2. Because you remove more than one inch of grass and thatch, fill in with good topsoil.
  3. Rake it level with your lawn
  4. Sow a thin layer of grass seeds across the area. Rake your seeds, so they are spread evenly.
  5. Cover the seeded area with a thin layer of straw
  6. Water the area in the morning and also early evening until the seeds begin to germinate
  7. Once they germinate, water your lawn every day until it can take a light application of fertilizer prior to summer heat arriving

Best Lawn Care Tips for Green Grass

How to Get Grass Green

Here are some of the best tips you can find to get your grass green. Many of them come down to having the best lawn care rather than carrying out one watering now and again and thinking that is sufficient for a lawn, and it will stop brown patch in your grass.

  • Keep your lawn well aerated; you can also top-dress and incorporate some organic matter into your soil. The best times can be in fall when the weather begins to cool, and rain may arrive.
  • Fertilize in the spring and the fall. Make sure not to use rights reserved fertilizer too often; especially if you think, it will get rid of a brown patch or the brown spots dotted around your lawn.
  • Avoid using fertilizer in dry conditions or if your grass is under stress.
  • Be sure to water in the early morning. This can be one of the best ways to stop fungus in lawn, because the damp conditions that cause this come with watering too late in the day. Water deeply so it reaches the roots ready for the day ahead.
  • When moving in the summer, raise your cutting height to around three inches or more on the best ride-on mowers. Once you have taller grass, it can help shade roots and stop water evaporation.
  • Carry out a soil test to make sure your garden isn’t lacking anything in the way of nutrients, or the pH levels are not too far in either direction.

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What Causes Brown Spots In My Lawn