A thick, lush lawn is not just a status symbol to make neighbors jealous. It's also a sign of a healthy lawn. Having browning grass in your yard can be from a variety of issues that are hidden under the grass. Here are some of the most common reasons as to why your grass has browned and what you can do to get back to that lush lawn you desire.

Hot and Dry Summer

Sometimes, the browning in your yard may not be from a mysterious source but could be from the weather. Certain varieties of grass have a survival mechanism where they will go dormant when conditions aren’t right for them. Sustained periods of high heat combined with a lack of water can result in this condition where your grass basically goes to sleep and turns brown. You can often tell if this is the cause of your browning if you’ve noticed this particular weather pattern and trees are losing their leaves early. The leaves dropped at this time would look folded and crinkled as though they didn’t have enough water in them.

There are a few solutions when a drought has your lawn browning. You can just let it be until it comes out of dormancy naturally once the weather changes. You’ll want to give it about a half inch of water every couple of weeks during the drought period. If you’d like to green your lawn up, you’ll want to put out your sprinklers for about two hours every week. This two-hour period will drop about an inch of water and help to bring your grass around.

Fungi and Diseases

Green Lawn with Multiple Distinct Brown Patches

While the presence of some varieties can be a helpful boost for your soil, there is a chance that your problem can be one of the many species of fungi or types of lawn disease that could be impacting your lawn. These issues are typically harder to identify because of the number of possibilities that could be wrong.

There are a few things that you can do to try to turn your lawn around when you suspect that it may be a fungi infestation or a disease. Use proper lawn care to make your yard more resistant to these issues. You should be regularly mowing your grass, providing water to your lawn in the early morning hours, going through thatch management, and doing lawn aeration.


Japanese Beetle Grub Emerging from Soil

Beetle larvae living under your grass could be the cause of your browning lawn. These pests can be a big problem if you find a large amount of them. To check for grubs, cut about a one by one foot square in the grass and peel it up. If you find at least 10 grubs or more in that section, larvae are certainly an issue in your lawn.

There are a few solutions for controlling the grubs in your yard. The first is to allow your lawn to dry out. This action can cause the larvae to die off or move on. There are grub treatments you can get from your local garden center or DIY store, such as milky spore powder which is a natural treatment to wrangle the grubs. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to prevent browning, you may consider replanting your lawn with a species of grass that’s more grub-tolerant, such as Kentucky bluegrass.

Cinch Bugs

You may find under your grass little red, orange, brown or black bugs that have white markings when looking for the expected grubs. These are cinch bugs, and they will drink up all of the juice out of your grass.

When it comes to solutions, you’ll want to follow the same steps as with the fungi and diseases to get your lawn as healthy as possible. Watering regularly and thatch removal will both work towards making your lawn an ideal home for them. You can also go with insecticides, but remember that will also harm any of the insects that you want in your yard, such as earthworms.

Pet’s Favorite Spot

Terrier Laying on Grass with Ball

There’s a chance that your pet has picked a spot they prefer to go when you let them outside. Their bathroom behaviors can result in browning of the grass due to the acid content in urine.

There are a few solutions that you can use here. You can water the grass in the area where they go after they go to help dilute the urine and the acid it contains. You can also find some products at your local pet store that can be used to handle your pet’s waste.

Call in the Professionals

If you’re unable to determine the underlying cause of your browning grass and the DIY solutions you’ve tried aren’t working, it may be time to call in a lawn specialist. They can identify what is harming your lawn and help you to determine the best treatment option.

A green yard is a sign of health. A little investigation can help you determine what’s causing your lawn to be brown and allow you to follow through on reversing the issue. Get back to a yard that your neighbors will envy.