The Q&A Archives: Grass is severly brown after drought but everyone around me is green

Question: We had green grass before and I am not sure of the specifics type of grass we had but this summer in Northern Illinois we had a very bad drought and a watering ban. Now the watering ban is over and we have had some good rain. All the lawns around us are green except for a large rectangle area on the side of our house which has seemed to have turned completely dead and frrls like hay. Around the rest of our house are large patches of brown dead areas. It seemed to happen fairly quickly. What do you think can have caused this and should I rake the dead grass, reseed and water?

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I am not able to tell you exactly what has happened. It might be related to the soil, a pest or a disease problem, or it might be that your lawn had a disproportionate amount of an annual grass variety in it and of course once that dies out it would not be expected to come back. Also, if your lawn is relatively new, it might not yet have been well enough established to endure a drought. And there are many other possible causes. It is very difficult to make this type of diagnosis long distance, and you need to know what happened prior to replanting so you can take steps as needed to avoid it happening again. I would suggest you work with your local county extension to troubleshoot the dead patches and work with them to develop a plan for replanting and maintenance. I'm sorry you have such trouble with your lawn.

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