How to fix brown patches on your lawn

Five steps to keep your grass healthy!

It’s every Australian’s birthright to have a beautiful lawn in their home for hosting barbecues, playing games of backyard soccer and letting the kids and pets roam free around the yard.

Brown and bare patches in your lawn can damage the look of your lawn, especially in the lead-up to spring.

Luckily, most healthy lawns will easily overcome patches caused by pets or lawn diseases if not too severe

Joe Rogers, Technical Manager for Lawn Solutions Australia, gives us five steps to keep your grass healthy!

Prevention is better than cure

To ensure your lawn is always in the best health, look at simple measures you can include in a low-maintenance lawn program.

Regularly aerating - perforating the soil with holes - and top-dressing is recommended, in addition to fertilising, mowing and watering when required.

Let the leaves breathe

The number one cause for brown, patchy lawn is compaction. You’ll often see this at local parks where bigger lawn areas are in great condition, yet areas around trees and paths are in a state of disrepair.

Kids, pets, backyard parties and outdoor furniture... they can all take a toll and cause compaction issues.

Repair the issue by regularly aerating all areas of your lawn with aeration shoes or - if the area isn’t too big - a three-pronged cultivator on your hands and knees.

Remember to move around your outdoor furniture and children’s play areas as well, so wear and tear on your lawn is dispersed across the whole yard.

Just add water - and sun

If there are dry spots in your lawn, lack of water, poor soil or poor drainage is the culprit.

For a quick fix, apply a wetting agent solution over your entire lawn, focussing on the affected areas. Water dry spots well with a hose, followed by watering your entire lawn.

Lack of sunlight is another common cause of bare patches. Heavily prune surrounding foliage to allow more sunlight onto your lawn, or consider a shade-tolerant ground cover such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Lawn if the problem persists.

Eliminate creepy crawlies

Lawn grubs and worms can be a problem at certain times of year - and are hard to diagnose. When breeding environmental conditions align, they can cause dead patches.

Try placing a wet hessian bag or old towel on your lawn overnight, then lift up in the morning to see if an abundance of creepy crawlies are underneath.

If so, they are the cause of your brown patches. Due to the rate at which lawn grubs feed and move across your lawn, the amount of eggs they lay - and the sheer numbers involved in infestation - can be disastrous.

A fast-acting insecticide such as Lawn Solutions Grub Guard will get rid of the pests, quickly.

If this is the cause of your brown patches, tell your neighbour too! Infestations can quickly move across fence lines, and so they may see brown patches popping up on their side, too.

Keep an eye on your pets

If you own dogs or chickens, they could be an obvious cause for your browning grass. They like to scratch and dig, so the best thing you can do is try and keep your pets away from the little brown sandpits popping up in your lawn.

Dog urine is high in nitrogen and can be responsible for burning and killing your affected area. You can buy mineral-based ‘dog rocks’ to place in your pup’s drinking water, which filters out impurities such as ammonia and nitrates, making your pooch’s urine less likely to burn the lawn.

Alternatively, train your dog to ‘go’ in one area of the lawn that’s out of eye view and which you wouldn’t mind going brown.

Almost all brown patches in lawn can be saved - just as soon as you know the cause! You'll find more tips on lawn care on the Lawn Solutions website.

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