If My Lawn Turns Brown this Summer, What are the Best Ways to Make it Look Green Again Soon?

Why does grass turn brown in the summer? We'll show you some common causes of brown spots and dying grass, like over-seeding, dog spots and using a dull mower blade, and how to get rid of brown spots in your lawn.

Why is My Grass Brown?

One explanation as to why your grass is brown could stem from recent fertilizer use. If you’ve over-applied fertilizer, brown spots can appear or your grass can turn a little brown.

How to Fix Brown Grass

If this is the case, the best fix for brown grass is to soak the damaged area with water to dilute the chemical. Then be on the lookout for new crabgrass sprouts because they’ll require more herbicide treatment. After that, be sure to seed those areas in the fall.

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Another Cause of Brown Grass: Don’t Use a Dull Mower Blade

Dull mower blades rip through the grass blades instead of slicing them cleanly, and that stresses the plant. You can always tell a lawn that’s been mowed with a dull blade because it looks brown on the top. Get on your hands and knees and you can actually see the damage. Be sure to sharpen your mower blade each season to keep your lawn in good shape.

Why Does Grass Turn Brown? How are You Watering the Grass?

If you’re watering your lawn with a hose, you probably aren’t watering the lawn evenly. This leaves certain areas of your lawn thirsty, while others are overwatered. This not only causes brown patches in your lawn but can increase your watering bill if you’re not watering properly. Plus, with technology advancing, sprinkler systems can now help to conserve more water compared to before.

Why is My Grass Dying in Patches? You’re Mowing Your Grass too Short

It may be convenient for your time management, but your lawn certainly doesn’t like it. By cutting the blades too short, it’s an easier access to the dirt underneath to be exposed to the hot sun. This will cause browning and can even encourage the growth of weeds, diseases, or even insects when your lawn is drier and hotter.

Click here for 10 handy mowing tips.

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Why is My Grass Turning Brown and Yellow? You Have Dog Spots on Grass

Getting rid of brown lawn spots: An ounce of prevention

1. Soak your pet’s favorite areas in your lawn to get the salts out of the root zone before they kill the grass.

2. Fertilize your lawn in the spring to boost the overall color and mask the darker green dog spots.

3. Train your pet to urinate in a designated area. Replace or repair the grass in this area annually or cover it with mulch.

4. Keep your pet well hydrated to make its urine less concentrated.

How to get rid of dog spots

Soak the patch until the grass is sopping wet to dilute the urine acids and salts and wash them deeper into the soil, beyond the grass roots.

Scrape up the dead grass with a hand rake and remove it. Rough up the area to loosen the soil 1/2 in. deep. Seeds germinate better in soft soil.

Sprinkle on a 1/2-in.-thick layer of topsoil, then pepper it with grass seed. Cover with a pinch of new soil and press it to firm it up. Keep the area moist until the new grass is about 3 in. high.

Why is My Grass Dying? Poor Soil

Poor soil can mean compaction and compaction means your grass roots can’t grow deep into the soil. If you’ve got compaction, it means it’s time aerate your lawn. The best time to aerate your lawn is in the fall.

Other Reasons Your Grass is Turning Brown and Dying

  • Buried Debris: Your lawn may have buried debris that’s causing problems.
  • Erosion: If you’ve got erosion going on in your yard, you might want to approach the problem differently. Ground covers are a great way to reduce erosion on slopes. Succulents make pretty, easy-to-care for ground covers.
  • Roots: Tree roots make growing grass tough but you can do it when you use shade-tolerant grasses within your climate zone.
  • Drought: Different areas of your lawn require different care and that’s especially true of sunny spots. If your grass is turning brown, it could be because it takes on a lot of sun and it’s not getting enough water. Lawns typically need an inch of water a week to stay healthy. Picking the right sprinkler for spots in your yard is one of the best ways to keep it healthy.
  • Dormancy: If you notice that different spots of your yard have turned brown, it could be because you have a different mix of grasses. Some grasses will go dormant while others will continue to grow.

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  • Thatch: Thatch is a build-up of dying grass that, if left alone, can choke out healthy grass. Aerating and raking in new topsoil will help solve the problem.
  • Grubs: Grubs will cause dead spots with ease if left unchecked. How do you get rid of grubs? Treat your lawn with an insecticide if the count is six to 10 grubs in a square foot. Follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. Or consult with a yard service.
  • Chinch Bugs: Chinch bugs are prevalent in warmer climates and will live beside sidewalks and driveways. Many are resistant to pesticides but Talster is one product that can kill chinch bugs. Buy it now on Amazon.
  • Fungal Diseases: Grass fungus will show up in the spring in the form of snow mold and in the middle of the summer as the weather turns humid. Watering at night can also lead to fungus growth because the grass will stay wet for too long. Scotts DiseaseEx Lawn Fungicide is one product that can help get rid of grass fungus. Buy it now on Amazon.
  • Foot Traffic and Toys That Got Left Out: If you have a bunch of people over you can expect some traffic paths to emerge or if you leave toys out for a couple of days, you’ll likely start to see some brown spots.

How to Make Grass Green Fast

We took a patchy lawn filled with dead spots and transformed it into lush, green grass in six months all for around $250. Here’s what it takes to transform a dead lawn into green grass fast.

Once you get your grass green again, here’s how to keep grass green and maintain a healthy lawn.