Why Is My Lawn Patchy And Brown?


Have you ever wondered what causes brown patchy spots in your yard? A variety of factors can contribute. Read about the most common issues below.

New Grass

If your grass is new, it may take a few more cycles of seeding before you see consistent growth. Make sure to be gentle with new seedlings to allow them to take root and grow in strongly. Be patient, it can take a few seasons to get the thick, lush lawn of your dreams.

Dog Problems

Though dogs can provide a natural fertilizer, their urination habits can also damage grass. This happens when the dog frequently uses one location to do their business. To solve this issue: train the pet or plant urine resistant grass.

Crabgrass Invasion

If crabgrass (a weed) has invaded your lawn, it can cause soil erosion over the winter, when the plant dies, leaving patchy areas of your lawn by spring. If you notice these weeds, remove them from the roots and apply herbicide.

Poor Soil

If your soil has a pH of an unacceptable level for optimal growth, it can cause problems with your grass thickness and growth. A fertilizer with corrective pH solution can remedy your soil. Yearly soil tests should be completed until your desired results are achieved.

Dry Patch Issues

This condition creates a brown patch that cannot be repaired no matter the amount of water or fertilizer. This issue can be resolved by aerating and de-thatching your lawn, which can allow water to penetrate the soil and stimulate new growth.

Wrong Type Of Grass For Climate

Some types of grass are heartier than others and survive better in Illinois weather. Cool season grasses tend to do well in Illinois and in southern Illinois warm season grasses may also survive. The wrong type of grass will be more susceptible to problems over time, so plant the right kind!

Lack of Sunlight

Are your patchy areas beneath the shade of trees or your home? Pruning the lower branches of your trees may help sunlight reach the ground beneath more easily. In addition, mowing more gently can help. Keep the grass beneath your shady trees a bit longer than the rest of your grass. Overseeding these areas once a year can help, as well.

Dehydrated Grass

A simple fix — water your grass! Make sure to avoid watering at night since it can help foster fungus growth.

Grub Problems

White grub beetle larvae eat grass roots and can cause dead areas in your lawn. Some grub are acceptable, but too many can cause damage. If you notice a large amount of grub, call pest control to apply an insecticide and take care of them.

Bad Mowing

Mowing can stimulate growth or do the opposite. Mowing when your grass is already dry or stressed can create thinning, dry patches since the grass is not in a healthy enough state to repair quickly. Make sure to keep your mower blades sharp and mow different directions each week for best results.