The Q&A Archives: Brown Spots on Lawn

Question: How do I correct brown spots on bermuda lawn?

Answer: There are a couple of reasons for brown spots on sod: dog urine is the most common, poor contact with soil beneath the sod (a depression in the soil, perhaps?), sprinklers that are missing those spots, or shade. Bermuda does not thrive in shady conditions.

You didn't include your location, so it's difficult to provide specific growing tips for Bermuda. In general, always water deeply (water should soak 8 to 10 inches) to force the roots to penetrate deeply. Deep rooted grasses don't need as much water as those that are shallow rooted, and won't turn brown as easily. (Frequent, light watering will keep the roots close to the surface, making them dry out faster in warm weather and require even more frequent watering.) It's best to measure the amount of water your sprinkler puts out so you'll know how long to keep the water running. Put some tuna cans out on the lawn and turn on the sprinkler. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then check the water level in the cans. If there's not an inch of water in the cans, turn the water on again and continue to time how long it takes to get one inch of water in the cans. This will let your know how long you'll need to water to supply one-inch of water per week to your lawn. Put your lawn on a regular feeding and mowing schedule, too. Mow when blades are 1 1/2" to 2" high. Don't let the grass grow really tall and then mow which removes too much of the living tissue and scalps the lawn. Good luck!

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