Reasons Why Your Lawn May Not Be So Green This Summer

Brown Lawn

When the hot weather hits, you may want nothing more than to take a cool drink out back and relax on your beautiful green lawn. However, lawns sometimes begin to turn to not-so-pleasant shades of brown as the summer heats up. There are several reasons as to why your lawn may not be keeping its green, lush appearance.


Several Reasons Your Lawn May be Turning Brown


  • Fertilizer burn: When you fertilize your lawn, you are essentially adding nutrients back into the soil. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful. For example, an overdose of nitrogen can burn the blades and turn them brown. Overuse of some fertilizers may also cause excess salts to develop on the lawn, which draws the water out of the roots and causes them to turn brown or yellow.
  • Improper mowing: Brown areas can occur if the grass is cropped too short, causing the roots to become bleached by the sun. By mowing to a height of 3-4 inches, you’ll keep your roots shaded and reduce the amount of stress on your lawn.
  • Pet injury: Your furry friend can actually be detrimental to your lawn. Dog urine is high in salt, which causes salt burn. Adding Gypsum to the spot and heavily watering his favorite marking area will help to neutralize the salt content and will keep your lawn looking green.
  • Lack of water: When the summer droughts hit, the grass may begin to go dormant. This dormant state leaves lawns more susceptible to heat and other damage. If your area allows it, approximately 1 inch of water should be applied to the lawn once a week.
  • Insects: Common lawn insects may cause your lawn to turn brown. If your lawn is becoming discolored, you may want to learn about the types of these lawn insects in your area and look for the signs. A correct diagnosis is absolutely essential in order to rid your lawn of the problem. In many cases, the treatment may be a fungicide or insecticide.


Understanding Fertilizer

One of the most common reasons that lawns do not become lush and green is due to the misuse or misapplication of fertilizer. Different lawns in different climates need a different amount of nutrients in order to look its best.

In order to grow, your lawn needs three main nutrients:

  • Nitrogen: Maintains your lawn’s overall health and improves the plants’ green color.
  • Phosphorus: Improves the plants’ metabolic systems and helps your lawn to grow a healthy root system.
  • Potassium: Helps your lawn balance the water pressure around its cells.

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are listed on fertilizer bags as their symbols on the periodic table of elements. Thus, nitrogen will be listed as “N.,” phosphorus will be listed as “P.” and potassium will be listed as “K.”

The amount of each nutrient in one bag of fertilizer is listed according to the percentages by weight of N.P.K. For example, an N.P.K. rating of 10-5-5 indicates that 10 percent of the bag is nitrogen, five percent of the bag is phosphorus and five percent is potassium. Therefore, a 50 pound bag that has an N.P.K. of rating will have of 10-5-5 will have five pounds of nitrogen and two and one-half pounds of phosphorus and potassium.

When it comes to your lawn, it can be difficult to find the reason as to why it is taking on an unhealthy shade of brown. In some cases, you may need to seek a professional to help determine the cause and the best treatment.



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