The Q&A Archives: Brown lawn

Question: We bought a house 2 months ago and our lawn looks like it's slowly dying. It started with rabbits eating patches and along the edge. We have removed rabbit hiding places and spread seed, but now the entire lawn is browning. I began watering more frequently (3x a week), but it doesn't seem to help. A light application of fertilizer hasn't helped either. I'm in Southern California.

Answer: I'm not sure what kind of turfgrass you are growing so I don't know if it is browning because of the warm weather or because it isn't getting enough water. Cool season grasses grow wonderfully well in your gardening region for about 10 months of the year, but in mid summer they brown out, no matter how much you water. When the weather cools in September, cool season grasses will green right up and remain green until about July, when the weather gets hot again. You can dig up a sample of your lawn and take it into your cooperative extension office for identification. They will be able to tell if it is a cool season or a warm season turf. That may answer your question as to why it is browning even though you are watering and you have fed the lawn. Good luck with your landscape!

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