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Why is My Lawn Turning Brown and Dying?

There are a couple of different things that will cause grass to go brown and die off.


One threat to your lawn at this time of the year is turf-damaging insects. Another possibility is extreme heat and dryness due to a lack of rain. This article will help if your lawn is turning brown due to hot weather and dry soil.


Why Is My Grass Turning Brown?

As you know, the weather has been extremely hot, and we have had very little rain. Unless you’re irrigating your lawn, your grass is most likely turning brown — that is a survival mechanism.


The grass plants may look dead, but, most likely, they are not.  About 80% of grass is water, and the grass blades hold the most water. When a drought occurs, the plant will move the water to the roots of the plant. This allows the plant to remain alive and ready to respond to moisture when it arrives. However, the blades pay the price, shriveling and dying back. New leaves should emerge from the crown when the plants begin to grow again.


Will My Dry Brown Grass Come Back?

Depending on the severity of the drought, your lawn may “thin-out.” When a lawn is thinning out, it means some grass plants die. But the lawn is not wiped out. It would be rare to have large patches die from drought alone – unless there is a lot of rock in the soil. An aeration with over-seeding in the fall can repair the damage.


How to Bring Back Dead Grass

Your lawn’s survival is dependent on our partnership!


Green Giant will:

  1. Continue providing nutrients (lawn fertilizer) to maintain the nutrient pool so that, when there is adequate moisture, the plants will be able to start to recover. We use a slow release fertilizer that will not harm your lawn.
  2. Be on the lookout for surface insects, as their destructive activity may be masked by drought symptoms.
  3. Spot treat weeds when the conditions permit.


You should:

  1. Mow the lawn only when necessary to maintain a neat appearance.
  2. Raise the mowing height as high as possible.
  3. Water only if it can be done properly: at least 1 in. of water per week. Water only when the grass can be dry by night fall (morning until 2:00 p.m.).  Be consistent with the watering – stopping and starting is worse than not watering at all.
  4. When you water, or we get some significant rain – watch for areas that are not greening-up. This would be an indicator that you have turf-damaging insects. If this happens, please contact us ASAP, so we can check it out before there is more damage.
  5. If you have any questions or concerns about your grass turning brown or dying, text or call Green Giant at 610-944-0408.