Brown Spot Facts

Brown spots could be the result of a multitude of issues. These patches could be caused by disease, pet urine or insects, chemical burns (such as gasoline, paint thinner and bleach), drought stress or a watering issue. To fix this issue and prevent it in the future, it is important to identify the culprit.

Here are some common causes of brown spots in a lawn:

  • Mowing practices: Dull mower blades can tear your grass causing damage to the grass blades. Scalping your grass by cutting it too short. Solution: Sharpen your mower blades in the spring and fall, and cut your grass to no shorter than 3 ½ – 4 ½ inches. Link to lawncare tips/mowing practices
  • Chemicals: such as gasoline, fertilizer and even insect repellent can cause dead areas in your lawn. Solution: Use chemicals and fuels on your driveway as opposed to in your lawn. If spilled accidentally on your lawn, the soil will need to be removed for new grass to thrive.
  • Animal Urine: can cause your lawn to turn yellow in areas. Animal urine (especially dogs) is naturally high in nitrogen which will burn your lawn in the same way that improper use of store bought fertilizer can. Solution: Designate an area of your lawn for your pets to use the restroom. If an animal does urinate in another area you can water this area to help dilute the nitrogen found in their urine.
  • Poor soil conditions: Soil that is compacted or lacking nutrients can cause dead areas of grass. The quality of your soil can vary from one area of your lawn to another, so it is not uncommon to have grass that is thriving in one area and dead grass in another area. Solution: Test to see if your soil is compacted by taking a screwdriver and pushing it into the soil. If it doesn’t go easily, your soil is likely compacted. Aeration and overseeding (link to aeration and seeding) can help with loosening your soil allowing new grass growth. You can also conduct a  soil test to help determine what nutrients your lawn is lacking.
  • Disease: Common lawn diseases, such as brown patch, can cause area of your lawn to die. Solution: Practice proper watering and mowing practices and have the diseased area tested to determine what method will eradicate the disease and stop it from spreading. Ideally this would need to be treated by a lawn care professional to help not only eliminate the issue but prevent it from happening again.
  • Pests: Common lawn pests can cause dead patches in your lawn. Solution: After treating for the specific pest you are dealing with, you should be able to reseed the affected area.

Call Us With Your Questions

Once your lawn has been properly treated, it should start restoring itself after being reseeded. For long term results, aeration and seeding can help to rejuvenate these areas fairly quickly. If you have any questions, give us a call at 703-313-2056 today!

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