Prevent Your Lawn From Browning This Summer

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • July 05, 2019

8 Reasons Why Your Grass Turns Brown In The Summer & How To Fix It

While your yard needs specific care all throughout the year, it’s especially crucial in summer. Between increased activity, pet damage, and long, hot days, it’s no wonder your lawn isn’t getting the nutrients it needs! 

If you’re noticing patches of brown grass in your lawn, don’t fret. There’s likely an explanation! Below, you’ll learn eight potential reasons for those brown patches of grass, as well as expert advice for repairing and nurturing your lawn back to health. 

The sooner you’re able to identify why your grass is turning brown, the more quickly you can begin fixing it. It’s going to require some work though, so you better roll up your sleeves. 

So, let’s work together to transform your lawn from dead and brown, to lush and green!

8 Potential Causes of Brown Lawn Patches With Expert Solutions

Every lawn is different, which is why it’s important to consult a lawn care professional before determining the cause of your brown patches. However, here are some potential explanations of the brown patches in your lawn with helpful tips to prevent future browning:

1. No Rain and High Temperatures

The most obvious explanation, especially in summer, is drought and heat. If it’s been a while since it last rained, your lawn may not be receiving the moisture it needs to grow. That combined with high, dry temperatures may cause your lawn to brown. 

How To Prevent It

In the Carolinas, we never know what kind of weather to expect. It may rain for an entire week, and then not again for a month! So be sure to keep a close eye on the weather. If rain isn’t in the forecast, or your area is experiencing a drought, take action and water your lawn. This will not only provide your lawn with the moisture it needs, but also protect it against high temperatures and browning. 

2. Sprinkler Malfunction

If you use a sprinkler system to keep your lawn watered, but are still experiencing brown patches, you may want to check the functionality of your sprinklers. Check to make sure your sprinklers:

  • Are reaching every part of your lawn
  • Don’t need to be readjusted—readjustments can typically be made with a few turns of a screwdriver
  • Are working properly and don’t need to be replaced

How To Prevent It

If you find that your sprinklers are malfunctioning, fix them quickly to replenish your lawn and prevent further browning. 

3. Weeds

A lawn’s natural enemy: weeds. Weeds steal the nutrients from your lawn and kill surrounding grass, causing brown patches. When left untreated, weeds can continue to spread and threaten the health and integrity of your lawn. 

To see if weeds are the culprit, take a walk around your lawn and examine each brown patch. Remove any existing weeds by the root and apply a post-emergent herbicide

How To Prevent It

To prevent future weeds, apply pre-emergent herbicides in the spring as well as post-emergent herbicides throughout the year. Always remember to consult your local lawn care experts for effective weed control. 

4. Lawn Disease

While a lawn disease isn’t a likely cause of your brown patches, we can’t rule it out completely. Brown patches are known to be a sign of fungal lawn diseases, which is why it’s important to identify the cause of brown spots in your lawn sooner rather than later.  

How To Prevent It

If your lawn is affected by a fungal disease, DIY treatments aren’t going to cut it. Contact a professional to identify what kind of disease your lawn has and develop a strategic plan for treatment. 

At Killingsworth, yearly lawn disease prevention is a crucial part of our Premium Lawn Care Package. Click here to learn more about our custom lawn care packages. 

5. Pests

Certain pests like chinch bugs and grub worms can cause lawn browning as well. Chinch bugs prey on grass, especially during a drought, and love to suck every ounce of moisture out of your lawn. Your lawn will likely look wilted at first, before turning yellow and then brown. To identify chinch bugs, pull back a wilted section of grass and look for tiny red, orange, brown or black bugs with white markings. 

Grub worms, on the other hand, munch on grassroots causing visible browning. To spot grub worms, use a shovel to dig a small patch of grass up. If you find 10 or more grub worms, you’ll need to contact a pest removal expert

How To Prevent It

If you find chinch bugs, make sure to remove excess lawn thatch and keep your lawn moisturized. To treat grub worms, try to dry your lawn out thoroughly between waterings. However the best solution to fighting lawn-threatening pests is by contacting a lawn and pest professional.  

6. Pet Damage

While we don’t want to admit it, your four-legged friends may be the cause of brown patches in your lawn. Pet urine is highly acidic and known to kill grass. 

How To Prevent It

There are quite a few ways to protect your lawn against pet urine damage. One option is to wash urine away immediately after your pet goes to the bathroom. You could also get crafty and create a designated potty spot in the yard for your pet! 

For more ways to prevent pet damage and brown spots in your lawn, read our blog, How To Keep A Healthy Lawn With A Pet.

7. High Levels of Activity

If you have kids, or like to entertain for summer barbeques, you may notice browning areas of your lawn due to frequent activity. The constant back-and-forth can cause stress on your lawn, which could explain unsightly brown patches. 

How To Prevent It

The best way to maintain a healthy lawn is trying to stay off of it as much as possible, especially if it isn’t healthy. However, once your lawn is thick, lush and strong once again, normal wear and tear won’t be as problematic! 

8. Dull Mower Blades

If your entire yard is looking brown, it may be due to dull blades on your mower. Dull mower blades shred your grass and strip moisture from your lawn, causing it to wither and turn brown. 

How To Prevent It

Sharpen the blades on your mower and set them to a higher setting. Taller grass has deeper roots, and deeper roots will be able to soak up moisture further beneath the surface. Keep in mind, you don’t want to let your grass grow too long—three inches tends to be the ideal length!

Protect Your Lawn From Browning—Trust The Professionals at Killingsworth

When it comes to lawn care, you’re always better off to trust the professionals. Here at Killingsworth, we’ve been perfecting lawns all over the Carolinas for over 26 years! So we know the care your lawn needs, especially in summer. 

To learn more about our yearly lawn care services, and what your yard stands to benefit from seasonal care, download our free guide, The Four Seasons of Lawn Care: The Seasonal Benefits of Having a Professional Lawn Care Service, below!

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