Preventing Brown Patches in Lawn?

October 5, 2006
A patch of brown in the middle of a green lawn.


I have a spot on the lawn. We are in a new home and the front lawn was sodded last summer. There is a patch of brown grass in the very middle of the front yard that goes brown, then greens up a little after a heavy watering or rain. We regularly water the whole yard so we can't figure out what is causing this.

It's not grubs. Could there have been an excess of rocks or pea gravel left under this sod when planted that would cause the grass in this one area to brown. It's about 3 feet in diameter an is almost circular in shape. What can we do to keep this area green?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Marianne from Trenton, OH



The symptoms you're describing sound like Brown Spot (also called Brown Patch), a fungus afflicting Bermuda Grass, Kentucky Bluegrass, tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, and Creeping Bentgrass. It often occurs in areas with high humidity or in lawns growing in heavy shade. Brown Patch is characterized by a small round or horseshoe-shaped brown spot, which eventually grows and spreads to a few feet wide. It's common for the inner portions of the spot to green up (recover), while the outer edges of the spot stay brown. To prevent Brown Patch, aerate the soil in affected area, and if necessary try to increase the amount of sun exposure the areas receives. Avoid using excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer.


Another (fungus) possibility is a Dollar Spot. Dollar Spot is common to Kentucky, Bluegrass, Bent Grass and Bermuda in humid climates. They are characterized by small, silver dollar-like circles (up to the size of a grapefruit), that are brown or straw-colored in appearance. This fungus is most commonly seen during warm, wet weather and on lawns lacking in nitrogen. To prevent Dollar Spot, water only as needed and in the morning hours so that grass has plenty of time to dry before nightfall. Keep your lawn well aerated, remove dead thatch and avoid excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizers-especially in the spring and fall.

Good cultural practices go along way to preventing these diseases. Your local garden center can also recommend fungicides that are appropriate for both of these diseases, but they are expensive and are also only recommended as preventative measures.



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More Answers:

Is It Getting Watered?

Are your sprinkler reaching that area. I have a few spots in my lawn where the sprinklers don't cover very well and I get the brown spots if not hand watered.

By Poco

Adjust Sprinklers

Possibly your sprinklers aren't hitting it evenly.

By Linda

Treat Mites With Cornmeal

I also have the same problem with my sodded yard. My neighbor as well. We got info from our local nursery. They told us it was a mite. To use dry cornmeal on the spots. The critters eat it and swell. No more mite. You might want to cut back on your watering a little. It could also be a fungus of sorts. The ground must be dry when you put the cornmeal down, and just on the brown spots. Give it a week or so. Not an overnight remedy but it sure will save you bundles of money.

By Especielle

Insect At The Roots

I have some brown also, and it has grown with the summer, where the sprinklers are hitting. Someone told me it is caused by insects in the roots and the Scott brand makes something for it. I haven't tried it, but figured I'd pass it along.

By staley

Fungicide For Brown Spot

It is probably "Brown Spot" Possibly use a fungicide.

By Karen in SC

Pet Waste?

I wonder if it is from dog or cat urine or doodoo. Try "Revive" on it. it cost $13.00 and 2 applications and the grass is back to green IF it is from doodoo

By connie


By aTexasDarling (Guest Post)
October 4, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

Same thing happened to us when we built our house. Come to find out it is where the painters dumped their paint buckets. We took a soil sample to the county and they tested it for us.

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October 4, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

Everybody has great answers. Geepers, our lawn does it where the septic tank clean out lid is. It has for eleven years.


When it gets dry and hot, it is the first place to turn brown. The soil isn't deep enough to retain much moisture.

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2 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 1, 2011

I had a large tree cut down three years ago. I've replanted the spot with grass seed in September every year since. The grass looks great until June when the spot turns brown. The lawn receives a lot of direct sun light. The rest of the lawn looks great and I've used the same seed in other areas of the lawn.

By Lionel J.


June 13, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Add soil and manure to even out the mulch. It will speed up your process. I have 4 trees that were cut down and the sawdust left.


My Ace gardener/hardware man who owns the place said this would work.

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June 24, 2009

Why are there brown patches in my new lawn?

Hardiness Zone: 11

By CLARK from Yakima, WA


June 25, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Many things can cause it, did you fertilize recently? Could be burns from too much fertilizer, also if you didn't water properly, that can cause it. You can take a pic and take it to your garden centers like Lowes, or a landscape place.

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