Why Lawns Turn Brown

You want your sod to look lush, green, and healthy, so it’s always disappointing when brown spots emerge. Some types of sod are more vulnerable to brown spots than others, especially in the hot Florida climate.

Fortunately, brown spots can usually be eliminated with the right sod care and attention. Here’s what you need to know to understand why your lawn is turning brown and how to reverse it!

Brown Spots Due to Lack of Watering

Has the weather been dry recently, or have you forgotten to water your sod on a regular basis? This may cause your sod to turn brown, especially if it’s new sod that is still working to establish roots in the ground. 

New sod typically requires water two to four times each day for the first week. Your goal is to soak the top ½ inch of soil and keep it consistently moist until the sod has established itself. After the first week, you can gradually reduce the watering frequency to once each day, then every other day, and then to just once or twice a week. 

Brown Spots Due to Excess Fertilizer

Fertilizer has many important purposes in your yard, but it can actually cause damage if used too soon. The shallow root system of new sod can’t absorb fertilizer nutrients. This causes nitrogen to leach into the soil and burn your grass, which creates those unwanted brown spots. 

Play is safe by avoiding all fertilizer until at least 60 days after your sod is laid. You can repair damaged areas by watering your sod consistently until it returns to its former green, healthy appearance. 

Brown Spots Due to Poor Soil Contact

Healthy sod relies on consistent contact with the soil beneath it. Unfortunately, soil sometimes settles after installation. This allows air pockets to develop between sod roots and the soil, which prevents sod roots from absorbing water and nutrients. Sod can’t thrive if its lifeline is cut off, so it turns brown in response to trauma. 

You can reverse this issue by filling the areas under your sod with new soil, pressing the sod firmly to guarantee contact with the soil, and watering the entire area thoroughly. 

For more guidance on treating brown sod, call the sod experts at Council Growers Sod. The Council Growers team specializes in residential and retail sod and offers the largest variety of fresh sod in Tampa Bay. Call (813) 633-8665 today to learn more.