The Q&A Archives: Lawn Care

Question: What can be causing brown spots on the lawn front and back of the house. I know it's not grubs, not sure what it is or what to do? Can you advise. Thank you.

Answer: There are a couple of reasons for brown spots on lawns; dog urine is the most common, compacted soils, a fungal disease, or sprinklers that are missing those spots. You can rake out the dead spots, dig a little compost into the soil, then rake it smooth and reseed the bare areas. To have the healthiest, greenest lawn possible, water deeply once a week (twice if the weather is really hot) 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. Feed in April, June, September and December with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. Mow when blades are 1 1/2" to 2" high. Don't let the grass grow really tall and then mow or you'll take off too much of the living tissue and scalp the lawn!. Hope following the above guidelines will give you the greenest lawn on the block!

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