The Q&A Archives: brown lawn spots

Question: I have followed directions and still I have brown lawn spots. I put new soil, nothing. HELP.

Answer: Early September is a good time of year to seed lawn grass. Before fertilizing or seeding, I would suggest you run some basic soil tests to check the fertility and pH levels of the soil. The test results will tell you how much to fertilize and if you need to also add lime to correct the pH. You might also consider topdressing with good quality compost to add organic matter to the soil and possibly do a core aeration as well to counter any compaction problems.

Your local cooperative extension should be able to help you with the soil testing and interpreting the results. They will also be able to recommend the best grass varieties for your lawn based on the test results, your expected maintenance plan for the lawn and the growing conditions in your lawn.

I should also mention that lawn grass grows best in areas with full sun all day or for at least half the day including the hour of noon. If part of your lawn area is shadier than that, you may want to consider planting a shade tolerant groundcover instead of grass. Also, sometimes brown spots are due to poor soil conditions where there is an obstruction underground such as rock or tree roots or excessive runoff from a road that is deiced during the winter, or there is a problem with dog urine spotting the lawn, or there can be a pest or disease issue. Your extension should be able to help you diagnose the specific cause of the spots and once you know that you can decide what to do next.

In the meantime, you may also find the following extension web site helpful in planning your lawn care this fall. You may need to cut and paste the complete url to make it work correctly.

I hope this helps!

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