The Q&A Archives: Lawns

Question: We purchased a new home in Dec 05 and the builder put in Bermuda grass. I water once a week for about 10 minutes after 8 pm. However, brown and yellowish spots have developed throughout the lawn, and if you walk across the lawn it

Answer: Your bermuda grass probably needs to be watered more frequently. Try soaking it (15-20 minutes) twice a week during hot weather. If you water deeply the roots will grow deep and your lawn won't turn crunchy during the summer.

There are two situations that might have caused the spots in your lawn. The first is easy - dog urine can burn the grass but the nitrogen contained in the urine can quickly green the lawn up, in the center of the spot, leaving a dead ring around it. The second possibility is a fungal disease called Fairy Ring. Fairy rings appear first as circular patches of dark green, enlarging into small circles or circular areas in spring and early summer. Eventually a ring of dead grass develops along the inside of the green zone. Sometimes small tan mushrooms appear. Another green ring often appears inside the dead zone. The fungus (Marasmius) thrives under mild, moist conditions. If the spots in your lawn are caused by animal urine, they will clear up by themselves. If it's a disease, you may need to treat it. Find out for sure by taking a sample of both healthy and affected grass, including the roots and soil, to your local Cooperative Extension office. Best wishes with your lawn!

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