What Causes Brown Spots In Grass?
Caring for a lawn is an ongoing process. Maintenance work such as watering, mowing, fertilizing, and aerating are necessary to keep the grass on ones lawn healthy. However, in spite of ones best efforts there does come a time when problems occur. Weeds taking over the lawn, indications of pest infestations, wilting leaf blades, and grass color having yellow, reddish or brownish tinge are just a few of the lawn care problems that can crop up from time to time.
Calling in the professionals right away can solve the problem easily but will be a drain on your pockets. For common problems such as brown spots in grass, one can find a less costly remedy by trying to identify the cause of the problem first. To begin with, it is best to look into the most obvious or probable causes of the brown spots. Here are some of the factors that cause brown spots to appear.
Insufficient water is one of the main reasons for grass to grow brown in just a few days. The dry conditions on the soil from lack of water will also promote the growth of a fungus called the dollar spot. This fungus causes lesions on the edges of the grass blades that results in brown spots in grass.
Improper mowing practices also contribute to the condition. Mowing lower than the recommended minimum length of the type of grass on ones lawn is one such practice. Mowing too low or scalping the lawn will inhibit the ability of the grass to perform photosynthesis correctly. Another improper mowing practice is mowing with unsharpened blades, which tears off the grass blades instead of cutting them.
Urine spots on the lawn especially the areas where dogs repeatedly urinate on will also lead to having brown spots in grass. Dog urine is high in salts and nitrogen. While these are usually harmless or even beneficial in the case of nitrogen, urine deposits are not diluted unlike when applying nitrogen fertilizer. Sun exposure doubles the damage as it bakes the urine spots, dehydrating the grass.
Ones fertilizing practices can also be a cause of this problem. Chemical fertilizers applied in excess will burn the grass tops and roots. Fertilizing when the weather is too hot, whether it is done in the middle of the day or in the midst of summer, will further increase the chances of a fertilizer overdose causing brown spots in grass. In this instance, the grass is already under stress from the heat and too much fertilizer will just add to the stress.
Excess heat does not just come from sun exposure. Other sources are the exhausts from ones car and lawn mower. The reflected heat from the pavement and nearby walls can contribute to a few more degrees increase in temperature that can brown the grass.
Insufficient heat or to be more precise, lack of sunlight, can be as damaging as well. This usually happens when the lawn is located in the shade of trees and the lack of sunlight causes brown spots in grass. When the grass is covered by equipment, toys, and ornaments placed on the lawn such as garden hoses, kiddie pools, and birdbaths, the grass does not just experience insufficient sunlight. The grass blades are also crushed and soil compaction occurs. These factors cause impairment of photosynthesis and disruption of the flow of water and nutrients, causing the grass to go brown and eventually die if these are left unchecked.