With the summer approaching, this issue is bound to arise. It is quite common to hear people ask questions such as why are there brown patches on my lawn? What can I do to remedy this situation? Is my lawn dead? Well, the first fact to understand is that, a brown lawn is not dead and their several methods to revive your lawn. So, what is the cause of brown lawns? The first thing to note is that when a lawn goes brown in the summer it’s due to lack of rain, they are not dead, they are just dormant. The grass plants may appear dead, but deep inside the plant, there is a small area (called the crown) that is still alive.
Causes of a Brown Lawn
- Improper Fertilization Application:
This is one of the major reason for lawn turning brown. Many people opt not to fertilize their lawn at all which in itself is a mistake. It is usually recommended that lawn fertilization is done by a professional. If fertilizer is improperly applied to a lawn i.e. not distributed evenly, over-used or accidentally spilled the lawn may develop “fertilizer burn’. These patches or streaks of discolored grass may die if the excessive salts from the fertilizer are not washed off or leached out quickly.
- Over Watering or Lack of Watering:
It is advisable always to water your lawn deeply at least once a week, or when the grass looks slightly wilted. During this case, it is essential that you apply about an inch of water each time. Do not engage in shallow irrigation which results in weak roots that can’t tolerate summer heat. The rule of thumb is that don’t water if the lawn doesn’t need it.
- Infestation Lawn Pests:
If you happen to encounter situations where your lawn has brown patches, you may have a problem with lawn pests. The usual suspects here in South Florida are lawn grubs, chinch bugs or fungus. Once these lawn pests infest a lawn they can be difficult to get ride of. However, with South Florida’s fickle climate an occurrence of one or more of these pests is sometimes unavoidable. Preventative lawn care, such as monthly lawn pest control treatment is recommended to keep these occurrences to a minimum.
How to Revive a Brown Lawn
- Set your irrigation on a timer:
Lawns can be extremely touchy when it comes to watering. This is because a little less or a little more can cause more problems to a healthy lawn. The watering schedule depends on the time of year and any present issues of the lawn.
- Weed and Feed:
The application of a weed and feed is recommended at least once a year.
- Routine Lawn Fertilization:
Lawn fertilization treatment is recommended at a minimum of quarterly.
- Routine Lawn Pest Treatment:
Lawn Pest Control treatment is recommended at a minimum of twice a year.
- Best Management Practices
The BMP’s for caring for lawns in South Florida can be found here are the University of Florida.