Why is my Grass Brown and Dying

Sometimes the grass is not green anywhere. 

Everybody loves a beautiful lawn; the sight of green and thriving grass around their home brings a sense of joy and pride. The lawn is looked at as a status symbol rooted in European aristocracy. Therefore it’s no surprise that the landscaping business is worth 100 Billion dollars. In America lawn, owners use around 9 billion gallons of water a day and spend around 70 hours a year taking care of their lawns. 

Taking care of a lawn is expensive and requires hard work. Some people do it because it’s their passion, others out of compulsion, and some because a good and well-maintained lawn goes a long way with the aesthetic of their house. And after all that hard work, it is heart-wrenching to see all those precious hours, the fruits of your labor, decay or die. So why is it that grass starts to decay? How can you know if your grass is merely dormant or dead? And is there anything you can do about it to prevent it? 

Why does grass turn brown? 

It is aggravating to see brown patches among the green or that your entire lawn has turned brown. It is important to know how long the life cycle of grass is. 

Grass generally completes its entire life cycle in one year; therefore, if there are patches in your lawn, it is not a mark on your ability to take care of it; it just means that a particular patch of grass is dead. But sometimes, it can also mean that the grass is merely dormant. Dormant means the grass trying to rest; it conserves its water and nutrients by turning brown; this can happen during the winter. And during the summer, it can go dormant due to extreme heat or drought.

Dormant grass is simply trying to extend its life during hard times. 

But how can we know if the grass is dead or dormant grass? 

Often the simplest solutions are the best; if your grass is resting, it can be awakened by simply providing it with water. This will revive the grass in a few days, but if it stays brown despite water, it is unfortunately dead. 

But, now the question becomes why it died in the first place. 

There are many reasons why grass can die. 

Drought

Drought is the most common reason why grass dies. Not getting enough water naturally depletes the lifespan of the grass, the grass gradually turns brown, trying to preserve its nutrients, but if the lack of water and moisture continues along with the heat, the grass becomes weaker, loses its moisture, and eventually dies. However, we cannot control when a drought arrives, but we can manage our lawns by.

1) Putting any landscaping on hold and not doing lawn projects until the drought is over. The grass is already in survival mode; thus, it is not suitable to be disturbed by disrupting its environment. 

2) Fertilizers can wait until after the drought is over as they contain nitrogen and other gasses, increasing the temperature around the grass. 

3) Water the grass scarcely but water it as deeply as possible, this means that the water should soak the soil at least 8 inches below the ground. 

Weeds

Weeds are plants that invade the space of your lawn and then start to eat away at all the nutrients meant for your lawn. Weeds can invade through various means, they can come in through the air or crawl through a wall or creak, but then they multiply very fast and sometimes outnumber the grass. They suck the other plants dry. Making sure to get rid of the weeds as frequently as possible will ensure the longevity of your lawn. If the problem has gotten too out of hand, it’s best to ask a professional to handle it. But luckily, there are a few ways by which we can get rid of weeds:

1) Mowing your lawn regularly can help get rid of weeds already present. 

2) Paying attention and removing the weeds with your own hands is one of the best ways to keep weeds away from your lawn. 

3) Using selective herbicides can help with the problem of weeds, but it’s best to ask a professional what kind should be used in your lawn. 

4) Using a layer of newspapers can be very effective against weeds. Covering the weeds with newspaper and mulch blocks sunlight and oxygen from reaching the weeds, killing the weeds. 

Also See: Best Natural Weeds Killer

Pests

Pests can cause diseases for your lawn or eat away at it. Pests can either be a small nuisance, or they can be a disaster for your lawn, and it is not possible to manually pick them up and throw them aside like weeds. Keeping your lawn healthy and clean is the best way to keep pests away; using pesticides can cause unintentional damage to the lawn itself. But if a pest is already present, then identifying the pest is the first way to get started. Educating yourself on pests can make it easy to identify them, and there are a lot of guides and books on them, which help determine the pest and how to get rid of it. Common pests are grubs, Chinch bugs, Armyworm, etc.

Maintaining your lawn is the best way to make sure your lawn is always green and without pests or weeds. And a few tips for doing just that are:

1) Make sure to sweep the lawn, as you never know what might have dropped itself into the lawn. It is especially necessary to sweep after mowing the lawn. 

2) Never overwater the lawn as that can lead to the growth of weeds in the lawn. 

3) Getting the soil tested can better understand the environment the lawn is growing. This can help us make better maintenance decisions. 

4) Do not be in a hurry to use fertilizer in the early stages. 

5) Being consistent is the key to a healthy and beautiful lawn. Having a structure for lawn maintenance is important, and one cannot have a laissez-faire attitude towards it. 

6) Educate yourself on the various aspects of lawn maintenance, and always have a need to know more goes a very long way. 

Disease

There can be a lot of other factors, such as diseases and fungi, that can cause your grass to turn brown, apart from these. One of the major causes of the grass turning down is the Brown patch disease, caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia. Such a disease causes Patches of that brown grass, particularly in hot summers. To get rid of this disease, you should improve air circulation and spray lawn fungicide if needed.

Also See: Ideas to Landscape your Front Yard

FAQ

Why does grass turn brown? 

It can be due to the grass being dormant, i.e., preserving its nutrients, causing it to turn brown, or because the grass is dead. 

Why does the grass die? 

It can be because it reached the natural end of its life cycle. Or because of a drought, weed, or pest. 

How can we differentiate between dormant grass and dead grass? 

Dormant grass will turn back green after it gets the water it needs. Dead grass will never revert to green, even if water is poured on it. 

Are pesticides harmful to grass? 

Yes, pesticides are poisonous chemicals that affect many living things, including grass. 

Conclusion

A healthy and green lawn is something that everyone would like to have. But very few people have the commitment and consistency to maintain it. Someone who is new to it might overdo it, causing more harm than good, and a veteran might not be open to newer ideas and knowledge, not allowing them to take action.

But, it is not always necessary or the case that the grass is turning brown and dying because of human error. Sometimes it’s just part of nature, and sometimes it’s because of unforeseen circumstances. However, maintaining the lawn is always the best way to keep your lawn from death and decay. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

There can be a lot of other factors that determine the quality of your grass, such as soil quality, water quality, etc. therefore;, one needs to be careful while maintaining grass. Be it spraying pesticides or watering the grass, everything should be done to a limit as an excess of these can also be harmful. If you do follow this, there is a pretty good chance that the grass is greener on our side.

See Also: Pros and Cons of Selling House during Spring | Pros and Cons of Moving to Countryside | Different Types of Grass for Your Lawn

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.