What is Causing My Patchy Lawn?

Over time as a homeowner, you may occasionally notice brown, dead, or crispy spots on your lawn–even if you’re very attentive to it! There are many things that cause an undesirably patchy lawn, but while sometimes you may easily pinpoint the culprit, other times you may be at a loss as to what’s going on.
The best way to tackle balding patches of grass is to first determine the cause and eliminate it.

lawn fungus

Once you’ve taken care of that, you can work on aerating and overseeding the bare spot so that it’s repaired. To help get you started on diagnosing your lawn’s problem, here are a few common causes of deaf lawn patches.

Patchy Lawn? The Answer May Be Underground

Insect pests can wreak havoc on plants and grass. Chinch bugs are popular in our area. They are tiny insects that suck water out of individual grass blades, then inject a toxin so that the grass cannot absorb any more moisture. Bare spots caused by chinch bugs start small, but quickly expand in size and can take over a large portion of your lawn. Grubs also kill grass by consuming their roots so that they can no longer absorb nutrients or water. An easy way to tell that grubs are your culprit is if the grass easily lifts away from the soil (since the roots are no longer anchoring them).

Too Much of a Good Thing

Over-fertilizing your lawn can cause burns and bare patches. It may not even be intentional–if you spill a little too much fertilizer in one area, or apply it unevenly, you may notice spots of your lawn are suffering. Thoroughly water spots where you’ve spilled fertilizer so that you can help wash the excess nutrients through the soil and away from your grass’s roots.

Too much or too little water turns grass brown and can cause a patchy lawn. If you have a sprinkler system, watch it while it’s on and make sure that there aren’t any areas being missed, but also that there aren’t large areas where the spray is overlapping and may be showering your grass with a bit too much water.

Your Pets May Be The Cause

Does your dog always return to the same area to relieve themselves when let outside? This kind of habit can result in brown, dead grass. Essentially, your pup is over-fertilizing, because the buildup of nitrogen in the soil chemically burns the grass and kills it. You can tell if it’s pet urine causing the spots, because while the grass that gets the bulk of the nitrogen load dies, the grass on the periphery of the spot is often lush and green since it’s receiving just the right amount of constant fertilization.

Fungus and a Patchy Lawn

Watering your grass in the evening or at night holds moisture against the grass and allows for fungus to quickly grow and attack your lawn. White webbing or colored spots in yellows, reds, purples, or blacks may accompany a diseased lawn, but not always. You could apply an anti-fungal spray if the disease is severe, but often simply improving your routine and lawn care habits is enough to resolve the issue.

Whether you need a solution for your patchy lawn, or tools to start a gorgeous garden – Big Earth Landscape Supply has what you need. Shop our products online, or come visit us at one of our 4 area locations.