Is My Grass Dormant or Dead?

November 15, 2016 | Lawn Care, posted by Sasha

Lawns look great when they’re healthy and well-maintained, but there are a variety of factors that could turn a lush green field into a barren yard. One common issue many homeowners face is the appearance of brown spots, which could be the result of your grass simply lacking water or it having dying roots.

By identifying the condition of your grass it will be easier to tell what needs to be done to help get it back to its peak condition.

brown grass

Why Grass Turns Brown

Grass needs water and nutrients to stay green. If these are not available, the grass conserves resources by going dormant until the environment becomes more hospitable. The green blades turn brown during this period. Once it gets enough water, it leaves dormancy and returns to its green color.

However, lack of water isn’t the only thing that can cause brown spots in your lawn. Fungal infections, insect infestations, and diseases can also produce a similar appearance.

Dying roots or lack of water?

You might have a hard time figuring out whether the grass is dead or dormant since it turns brown in both cases. The first step is to look for patterns in the yard.

Are the brown areas distributed in locations that receive less water, such as in a spot not reached by the sprinkler? Do other plants show sign of stress as well? Has it been weeks since it rained? If so, you’re probably dealing with dormant grass.

Confirm this observation by pulling out a few blades. If the base remains green and the roots have a healthy white color, then your grass is dormant.

If the grass pulls up easily or is brown all the way to the root, it’s dying grass. You need to figure out the primary cause for the dead grass, such as high soil acidity or specific types of bugs, to combat the problem.

How to Prevent Dead Spots

Take proactive action against the problems that lead to stressed or dead grass. Check your sprinkler layout and schedule to ensure you have sufficient lawn coverage. Pull weeds and invasive plants that directly compete with your grass for nutrients or block the sun. Mow the lawn at regular intervals, and don’t cut it too short. Aeration can also strengthen your yard’s chances of avoiding dead spots.

Sometimes you can do everything right, but disease or other problems kill off your grass. Contact The Grass Outlet to get the supplies you need to return your yard to its former glory.