a lot of brown patches on lawn - Knowledgebase Question

Pgh., Pe
Question by tipperboo12
April 13, 2010
Grass is not growing where these patches live

Answer from NGA
April 13, 2010


There are a couple of reasons for brown spots on sod; dog urine is the most common, fungal diseases are next, grub feeding, compacted soils, a buildup of thatch, 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 dont 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. You can test for grubs by pulling up on the turf. If it comes right up, grubs may have consumed the roots. Cut out a section of lawn and measure the thatch. Anything over one half inch can prevent water from penetrating into the soil. If there's an excessive amount, dethatch in October and overseed. If you find none of the above, I would simply rake out the dead grass and debris, then reseed those areas. Wait until this fall when the weather cools.

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