brown spots - Knowledgebase Question

Reno, Ne
Avatar for shellow_ed
Question by shellow_ed
June 30, 2010
we have brown spots about 8 to 12 inches wide in our lawn. these are not caused by the dog. can you tell me what they are and how to treat them . thanks ed

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
When you see yellow or brown spots in your lawn, it is time to play detective. Just like a rash on your skin, the cause of the rash could be any of several possibilities. In order to save time, money and aggravation, you need to start with an accurate diagnosis. First, inspect the spots. Does the grass pull away like a carpet? If it does, it is likely an insect feeding on roots. Do the infected areas seem to be a pattern or are they random? Grass does not naturally die in straight lines. If you can see a pattern, it may be from an improper fertilizer application, watering pattern, etc. It may be happening on high or low areas of your yard. Next, Look at the plant itself. Does the whole plant seem affected or are there just spots on the leaf? You may have to look at plants nearby that seem unaffected. Here, you may see plants in various stages of demise. If the whole plant seems affected, again it may be an insect problem, one of a piercing/sucking variety. Look at the affected area. If it is only the leaf, look at it for characteristic signs or symptoms. Look for fungus mycelium (easy to see early in the morning), as this is a good sign of dollar spot disease. Finally, take a close up picture of the infected area and either browse a reference book on the subject, or visit your county extension office for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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