Brown Spots On My Lawn During Fall

What Is Causing Brown Spots On My Lawn?

Shades of brown are a common sight in the fall season, from fallen leaves that crunch under our feet to the bare tree branches that hang above our heads. But brown spots in the grass during fall? They sure do stick out like a sore thumb. Plus, they can cause concern about the health of your lawn.

What could be causing these spots? Weeds on your lawn? A fungus? Some sort of disease? Read more to find out.

Is Grass Turning Brown In The Fall Normal?

The short answer is lawns are either turning brown because winter is on its way, or there’s a different issue like a disease or poor maintenance.

Let’s get into more detail to figure out what’s going on with your lawn.

Circle Shaped Brown Spots On My Lawn

Chances are, that’s brown patch disease. Brown patch can appear on lawns in the early fall if it’s humid and if temperatures are about 70 degrees and up.

Your lawn likely has brown patch if:

  • There are brown patches roughly shaped like circles that are up to several feet in diameter.
  • In the center of the patch, the grass is green, creating a doughnut-like look

There are a few things you can do to relieve your grass of brown patch disease:

  • Only water your lawn if it’s dry. When you do water, plan to do it in the morning
  • Mow your lawn at the proper height (the sweet spot is 2 to 4 inches) and aerate your lawn if it has lots of thatch, a layer of dead grass that builds up between the soil and live grass
  • Talk to your local arborist about a fungicide to treat brown patch

My entire lawn turns brown in the fall

If you live in a warm climate, there’s likely no need to worry. Warm-season grasses like zoysiagrass or bermudagrass turn brown in the fall season to prepare for winter. As temperatures cool down, warm-season grasses go dormant to protect themselves from freezing over, and then they’re back in action come spring.

As long as your lawn is pretty evenly brown, and not covered in blotchy brown patches, you’re going to be fine.

Preventing Brown Patches From Appearing

Staying on top of proper lawn care can really make a difference in the look and health of your lawn. If you want to get ahead of the game and stop brown spots before they even start, look to these lawn care essentials:

  • Water a few times a week for a total of one inch of water per week. Always try to avoid over-watering your grass so you don’t create a moist, fungus-friendly environment. A good rule of thumb is to water in the morning so the grass blades can take the day to dry off
  • Mow to keep your lawn at a height of 2 to 4 inches. The best mowing height depends on the season
  • Fertilize the grass to keep it green and in good health. But, be careful not to over-fertilize. This may cause fertilizer burns on your lawn.

When Best To Apply Lawn Treatments

The 2 to 3 weeks before winter kicks in is the best time to treat your lawn with fertilizer.

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