How to Deal with Brown Patches in Your Lawn

Brown patches in your otherwise immaculately landscaped lawn can be very distressing. No matter what is causing your lawn’s brown patches, it is essential to identify the cause so the proper interventions can be implemented. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most common causes of brown lawn patches and what you can do to fix them.

Improper Mowing Height

Many brown patches are caused by simply mowing your lawn too low. Most grasses thrive at 2.5” – 4” tall. Anything lower than that risks damaging the grass crown, which will cause permanent damage. If you’re dealing with brown patches and you’re cutting your lawn extra-low, consider raising the lawnmower blades to fix the problem.

Improper Watering

Watering is another potential cause of brown patches in your lawn. Underwatering can cause the grass to go dormant, so it will appear brown and dull. If underwatering continues long enough, the grass will die. Overwatering can promote a variety of diseases or simply drown the grass, which will also kill the grass.

Most grass needs a uniform ¾” of water once per week in the hotter months. That requirement falls down to once every 10-14 days during the winter. Test your lawn’s need for water by sticking your finger into the soil about an inch. If it’s soaked and muddy, you’re watering too much. If it’s dry and dusty, you’re not watering enough. You want the soil to be just slightly moist.

Pests or Disease

There are a variety of pests and diseases that can affect Florida lawns, from chinch bugs to grub worms to dollar spots to fairy rings. Each of these infestations has its own telltale signs and some even cause brown patches in certain patterns. Nutrient deficiencies and improper watering are common causes of pests and diseases. If you believe pests or diseases are causing your lawn’s brown spots, it’s best to consult with a professional lawn care management company.

Improper Use of Fertilizer

Fertilizer is great to give your lawn an extra boost in the spring and really turn up the green color, but improperly applying fertilizer to your lawn will have the exact opposite effect. Over-applying fertilizer can cause “burn” spots on your lawn. Always apply fertilizer according to the package instructions.

Improper Use of Herbicides or Pesticides

Just like fertilizer, improper applications of herbicides or pesticides can leave dead, brown patches on your lawn. While you may be tempted to use extra to deal with stubborn weeds or pests, this can cause permanent damage to your lawn. Once again, only apply herbicides and pesticides according to package directions.

When All Else Fails…

If you’ve tried everything to get rid of your lawn’s brown patches with no luck, it may be time to think about replacing the affected areas. If you’re in Tampa Bay, trust Council Growers Sod to supply you with the perfect sod variety to match your existing lawn. Just give us a call at (813) 633-8665 to discuss your lawn replacement needs and we’ll get you set up with the highest-quality, direct from the farm sod in Hillsborough County.