Brown Spots in our lawn - Knowledgebase Question

Lady Lake, Fl
Question by cmciek
July 21, 2010
We are starting to have brown spots in our lawn, do you know what would cause this?


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Answer from NGA
July 21, 2010

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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?), or sprinklers that are missing those spots. 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.

There are fungal diseases that can cause brown patches in the lawn so look at the blades and roots of the affected areas to see if you can find spots or yellowing of the blades near the roots. And finally, grub or chinch bug feeding can affect the roots and the crowns of the grass. Try digging up an adjacent healthy part of your lawn to look for these insect pests.

Hope this information helps you determine just what might be going on with your lawn.

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