Brown Patches In Your Lawn

Posted by Sunset Garden Experts on

I Have Irregular Brown Spots On My Lawn. What Is The Problem?

It is common throughout the growing season to see brown spots show up on your lawn. This can be a few different things and can typically be identified depending on what season it is.

Spring & Fall

If you see brown patches on your lawn in spring or fall it is usually not a water issue as these seasons are usually pretty cool and wet. The usual culprit is grubs which feed on the roots throughout your grass killing it in certain areas. These grubs eventually hatch later in June into beetles and then start again as grubs later in the summer so they are usually not the main cause during the summer for brown spots. A good way to tell if you have grubs is if you see holes have been dug all over your lawn. These are typically dug by skunks and other critters who are trying to dig up some grubs for a snack. You can treat grubs by spraying nematodes on your lawn in the spring or fall. You can also apply Grub- B-Gone instead. 

If you are noticing brown patches on your lawn as soon as the snow clears it could be simply from the winter season. It is likely that your lawn will simply just grow out of it as the growing season starts and things warm up. To speed up this process you can apply a spring lawn fertilizer to give you lawn a boost.


If you see brown spots on your lawn in the summer it could be from drying out during periods of drought...or forgetful watering haha. It could also just be from the extreme heat.

Another potential cause though can be an insect called chinch bug which comes out in the heat of the summer. It slowly sucks the juices out of your grass blades causing them to brown. These require spraying to deal with. A good solution is spraying the problem areas on your lawn with End-All. It is a contact spray though (only kills the bugs if it touches them) so make sure you spray the areas well.


Melting snow forms ice during the winter and ice can smother areas of the lawn causing them to die. To help prevent this you can break up some of the chunks that are taking longer to melt on your lawn come spring so the grass isn't covered as long. 


One common problem is dogs urinating on the lawn. The urine kills the grass and creates brown spots. It can be hard to prevent this damage unless you are right there with the hose ready to wash the concentrated urine down through the soil. One good method is to pre-apply dog spot preventer which neutralizes the acidity of the pee. You can apply it to the whole lawn or just the main areas your dog likes to go pee. You can check it out more by clicking here.

How To Restore Spots With Brown Patches

Restoring the green colour of your lawn is challenging during the summer heat. One easy way is to simply cut out the dead area and replace with fresh sod. The fresh sod must be watered though to keep it green and help it get started.

The second means is to apply a top dressing of soil and add grass seed. This will also need regular and frequent watering during the hot summer weather. It is highly recommended to wait and seed grass during the spring or fall when it is cooler for better success.

You can also apply a summer fertilizer. Fertilizer encourages the grass to produce fresh growth, but, needs to be accompanied by frequent and regular watering.

Otherwise, on lawns without fertilizer and water, it is normal and natural for the grass to turn brown during the summer heat. This is just summer dormancy and the green colour will return when cooler weather returns in the fall.

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