If you have been in the lawn care business for a while, you will have undoubtedly run into lawns with brown patches. If you have not yet run into any, then you will at some point, so be warned. Thankfully, brown patches are easy to fix and repair, and can often be done with minimal effort.
Knowing how to deal with these brown patches effectively is essential in keeping your customers happy. We are here to share some of our knowledge with you and help you keep those lawns luxurious and green.
What Causes Brown Patches?
Before you learn how to fix a brown patch in a lawn, you need to get to the root cause of the problem. Brown patches in your lawn are relatively common and can be easily fixed in a lot of situations.
If your brown patch in your lawn has an irregular shape, then the most common cause will be a fungus. One way to easily spot this is if the center of the patch is returning to green. This means that the fungus there has run its course. You could let it spread over your entire lawn, but it is easy to take care of it with a little effort.
If the weather has been extremely humid or rainy, this extra moisture can promote the growth of fungus. A lack of sunlight or poor air circulation can also cause this. Before you take control of the problem, try to eliminate any of these weather conditions, where you can, before applying a fungicide. You could take away anything which is shading the grass or add more ground cover to prevent additional moisture.
Once you are ready, find a fungicide from your local home store or garden center. Apply the fungicide as per the instructions.
If grubs get into your soil, they can eat at the roots of the grass. These brown patches widen over time and grow in a uniform way. The brown patch may also feel more spongy than the rest of your lawn due to the roots being eaten up. So, how do you fix brown patches in your lawn, caused by grubs?
You can buy a grub killer from your local garden center. First, rake the existing area to remove the dead grass. Apply the grub remover and then reseed the patch to replace it with green grass.
Dog urine is a common cause of brown patches in a lawn. If you have a dog, then this may be the cause. If your yard is not closed in, then dogs or other animals may be urinating on it. These patches often have brown centers and dark-green outer rings. You should be able to find a repairing product at your local garden store. You can walk your dog in other areas to save your lawn from further brown patches.
It is not weeds growing which can cause the brown patches on your lawn but the weeds dying. If there are annual weeds on your lawn which die away at the end of the season, then they can cause the brown patches. You can reseed these brown patches as you would with any other part of the lawn. The best cure, in this case, is definitely prevention. Talk to your client about setting up a regular lawn maintenance schedule to eliminate the problem before it occurs.
Brown patches can be caused by constant foot traffic over an area. If there is a part of the lawn which is walked on constantly, then it can kill off the grass in that area and turn it brown. As the grass is trampled, the blades are broken and torn. This leaves them less able to soak up sunlight and moisture and more susceptible to fungus and disease. The same is true if you leave something on top of your grass.
If you have something like an inflatable hot tub on your lawn during the summer, you will find that there will be a brown patch underneath when you remove it. Even leaving your garden hose sprawled across the lawn can leave you with a brown patch.
So, how do you fix this brown patch on your lawn? The best way is to remove whatever is trampling the grass and seeing if you can bring it back to life with a little sunlight, food, and water. If that fails, then you can reseed the area.
When there is a layer of dead organic material between the blades of the grass and their roots, it can kill the grass off. The dead layer is called thatch. This thatch prevents the roots from getting enough food and water. The roots can also begin to grow in the thatch layer and, as a result of this, they are not absorbing the food and water from the soil.
Thankfully, you can deal with this relatively easily. You can rent or buy a lawn dethatcher to remove the thatch or rake it manually. The Mantis lawn dethatcher shown above is a good option to quickly remove thatch and attaches to the Mantis Tiller/ Cultivator. This is a good tool for a lawn care pro to have in his arsenal.
Once the thatch is removed, you can add some food and water to revitalize the lawn. If that does not work, then you may have to reseed the area.
There are a few ways a lawn can become brown in patches. Most of the time, it is from a lack of some variable or from being damaged. Removing what is damaging the grass is usually enough for it to regrow it into fresh green blades, but a helping hand does not go amiss. Adding some moisture and food will often return the grass to health.
Of course, there are times when the grass is beyond repair, and you need to add fresh grass. This is not a big deal and is an easy thing to do. Reseeding a lawn, in entirety or patches, does not take long and your clients will be happy that you can bring their lawn back to life, no matter which method you choose.