What are the brown spots in my lawn?

grubs

I hear this during the day all the time. I hear it at parties, baseball games, and dance recitals from other fathers that know what line of work I’m in. I try to keep it low key, but once others hear the conversation, I get cornered and most cant answer enough questions from me to help them.

Truth be told, I have no idea what the brown spots are. Lots of things cause grass to turn brown. To answer your specific question, I need more information every time.

Customers have brought me dead grass in a ziploc bag after sitting on the dashboard for a day. Even fresh dead grass usually tells us nothing.

If you are going to bring a sample, get a shovel, dig a 10 x 10 inch piece or so from the edge of the good grass and brown grass. I like to see both. Dirt , roots and all.

What are the factors you should know before looking for advice?

When did the brown spots pop up?

How often is the turf getting water?

How often does it get fertilizer and when was the last time you put it down.

What products do you use to fertilize?

Is the grass less than a year old?

How high does the grass get mowed?

Do you own a dog?

These are just few examples.

Brown spots in lawns can be 30 different things. After getting answers , certain problems are very seasonal and thus we can narrow it down just by the date.
Once we do that, we get into more specific questions. Sometimes a good sample can help too. I try to narrow it down , but if I can’t ,I have them check a couple other things .
But this process is never simple. With phone cameras and digital cameras so accessable, get some good pictures from a couple different angles and get a wide shot to see the brown areas in relation to the rest of the lawn.

The more info you have, the easier it is to diagnose without seeing it. So be prepared and we might solve the problem right there and find out how to correct it.

Dont forget to check out www.elawnhelp.com for other resources.

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