How to Troubleshoot Brown Spots on a Lawn

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Troubleshooting brown spots on a lawn can be difficult, as causes range from lack of water and dull lawn mower blades, to grub damage and fungus. Identify different causes of brown spots on a lawn with help from a professional landscaper in this free video on lawn care.

Part of the Video Series: Lawn Care Tips
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Video Transcript

I'm Bill Elzey with Showplace Lawns. How to troubleshoot brown spots in the lawn. Unfortunately every time something goes wrong with the lawn it turns brown. So it could be a lot of different things that are causing this to happen. First, if it's being mowed with a very dull mower blade, the tips of the grass will be ripped and they will turn brown and will give the entire lawn a brown look. So make sure that the lawn mower blade is sharp. Second of all, if the grass is brown, but it's a little wilted looking, then it needs water. And try to schedule a ongoing water program throughout the year because even in the fall and in the winter, the lawn is still going to need water especially if you're not getting any rain, so if the grass is brown and it's got that little wrinkled look, it's dry and it needs water really bad. The good thing about that is when the grass is in that state it does absorb water better. If the grass, especially St. Augustine, if it's rolled up like a homemade cigarette and it's brown, that cinch bug damage. That's not good news and that will also happen mainly in the wide open sunny areas. If the grass is brown and you can go pick it up and roll it up like somebody just shaved the roots off of it, that's grub damage, not very good either. Another brown causing thing is fungus. Fungus will attack, turn an area brown, brown patch that we deal with in St. Augustine and even in some bermuda grass will do a sort of a circular pattern, sort of turn it brown and rust color. That will happen mainly in the early spring and in the fall. The best way to prevent that is to get on a better water schedule where you water early morning and have the day for it to dry through before the cool temperatures of the evening. If you notice some areas that are just little spots here and there or several of them together, that's going to be what we'd refer to as pet damage where they have performed a biological function. Those are probably the most common of brown areas in your grass, they can be managed more so in a prevention than in a repair.

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