Dr. Sprinkler Repair knows that nobody in Provo, UT, wants dry, brown spots on what should be a lush, green lawn. So we’ve compiled a list of the common causes of dry spots and possible remedies so that YOU, our customer, can have a healthy and thriving lawn this summer. When it comes to your sprinkler system, don’t forget to give Dr. Sprinkler Repair a call. We specialize in sprinkler repair, as well as sprinkler installation and maintenance. Call Dr. Sprinkler Repair (Provo, UT) today at (801) 709-1574.
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[su_spoiler title=”Animal Urine” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Dogs are the most common culprit, but large birds and other animals can cause urine spots, too. Urine usually causes your lawn to turn yellow in spots, sometimes with a bright green ring around the edges where the diluted nitrogen in the urine acts as a fertilizer. Cut out the dead spot and fill it with plugs cut from sod. Head to a nursery with a clump from your lawn and find a strip of sod that matches, or wait until the fall and sow fresh seed after clearing the dead grass and loosening the soil.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Buried Debris” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Buried debris, such as lumber, rocks, metal, etc., can have an obvious effect on the surface of your lawn. Use a screwdriver to poke around beneath a dry spot to see if anything is underneath the sod. If possible, remove the debris[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Chemicals” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Gasoline, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides can cause dead spots if spilled. If fertilizer is applied unevenly or incorrectly, it can burn the grass. Even insect repellents can burn your lawn when sprayed on the grass blades. Pour chemicals, fuels, and sprays on your driveway, not on your lawn, and follow application directions.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Compacted Soil” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Aerate to relieve soil compaction. Add organic matter and reseed.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Diseases” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Fungal Diseases – Brown patch and other fungal diseases thrive in moist conditions, most often in midsummer (when nights and days are hot and humid) and spring (as snow melts). They may show up as circular or irregular brown spots, or you may notice a spotting or infected pattern on the blades or a generally dying/thinning out. Increase air circulation and sunlight as much as you can, to make your lawn less inviting to fungus. Note the size and shape of the damage as well as the frequency of watering, fertilizer, mowing habits, and sunlight in order to diagnose the disease correctly. Take a sample of the affected grass (blades, roots, and soil) to your local cooperative extension office for analysis.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Dormancy” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Cool-season lawns can go dormant during the heat of summer while warm-season lawns go dormant during the winter. If your lawn has a mix of grasses, you’ll have curious brown patches as some areas go dormant while others stay green. Seasonal dormancy is normal, but make sure your lawn is healthy and strong to prevent unnecessary browning.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Drought” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Lawns need one inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation. Dry, compacted spots are more easily drought-damaged. Keep an eye on dry, sunny spots, especially if your soil drains poorly. If you irrigate, make sure your entire lawn is watered evenly.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Dull Mower” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Water tends to run off slopes, taking grass seeds and young shoots with it, and leaving bare ground or dried out areas behind. Aerate your lawn to increase water absorption. If the slope is steep, consider building terraces or planting groundcover.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Excessive Pesticide Use” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Applying too much insecticide or herbicide can “burn” turfgrass and lead to yellow or brown grass. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications on amount and frequency of application.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Foot Traffic” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Aerate to relieve soil compaction and reseed. Redirect the traffic. If that proves impossible, install a walkway.
Hot and Cold Temperature Extremes[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Hot and Cold Temperature Extremes” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Wait for a change in the weather. Keep your eyes open for early signals of lawn problems.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Iron” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Another reason for discoloration could be lack of iron in your soil. Some of the more common areas of the yard that you might find turning yellow from iron deficiency are those adjacent to things made of concrete. Driveways, sidewalks and concrete planters can be the culprits. The high alkaline content in concrete tends to absorb the iron found in soil, reducing the amount of iron your lawn or garden receives. Iron deficiency appears in patches. Blades may yellow but the veins retain their green color. Iron deficiency may not affect growth. Alkaline soils (such as those in the Midwestern and Western states) are especially susceptible to iron deficiencies. You can add iron as a soil supplement to neutralize alkalinity and help replenish the iron that occurs naturally in the soil. Apply as directed on the package. Remove the product from masonry or concrete surfaces before watering to avoid staining.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Nitrogen” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Lawns that are not getting enough nitrogen (the key component of lawn fertilizer) will begin to change to light green and then yellow. The color change usually begins to show first in the lower leaves. Reduced growth is also a sign of nitrogen deficiency. Normally the entire lawn is affected. Adding nitrogen will help restore the green color if you fertilize properly. Applying too much at the wrong time can do more harm than good. Follow the package instructions carefully. Grass cycling – leaving grass clippings on your lawn after mowing – adds nitrogen naturally to the lawn.[/su_spoiler]
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Grubs – Grubs are a common problem in mid to late summer, and most easily identified when your sod easily pulls back from the ground like a carpet. Pull back a section of sod and inspect for fat, white curved worms. More than ten per square foot can cause lawn damage. Grub control products are available at your garden center.
Chinch bugs – Chinch bugs are a common summer pest in warm-season lawns, especially in hot sunny patches beside driveways and sidewalks. Inspect your lawn closely, and look at your shoes as you walk through the grass – you should be able to spot the small black and white adults. They’re resistant to many pesticides, but there are products available to target them.
Other insects – Caterpillars and other pests can live part of their life cycle in lawns. Watch your lawn closely – look for crawling and munching insects and for grass blades that look eaten. Also watch for birds and wasps feeding on these pests in your lawn.
[su_spoiler title=”Poor Soil” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Soil quality can vary in your lawn, and poor soil can occur in patches, causing brown, bare areas or moss. Take a screwdriver and push it into the soil. If it doesn’t go easily, your soil is likely compacted. Try aerating and top-dressing to incorporate organic matter in the soil. When you aerate, take a look at the plugs, to see how the quality and texture of your lawn varies in different spots. Keep this in mind as you amend and improve your soil.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Roots” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Large trees or shrubs usually win the battle for water and nutrients. The area under trees is notoriously difficult for growing grass. Consider mulching or naturalizing areas under trees and shrubs.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Scalping” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]If your mower blade is set too low or there are lumps in the lawn, it can cut the grass too short and cause damage. Practice proper mowing techniques by raising your mower blades, and smooth out high spots by digging up the sod, removing some of the soil underneath, and replacing the sod.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Shady Areas” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]If you can’t beat the shade, join it—by replacing the grass with flowers and plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight. Wax begonias and torenias are two flowering annuals that add pops of color. So do New Guinea impatiens, and they’re not susceptible to the mildew-induced disease that has infected garden impatiens in recent years. Among perennials, lungworts produce pretty blue, pink, or white flower clusters, and their leaves are spotted with silver or white. Also check out plants with pretty foliage. The deep red leaves of the coleus, an annual, and the peach-colored foliage of the perennial coral bells will brighten a shady area.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Too Much or Too Little Fertilizer” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]Too much fertilizer causes excessive growth. Too little does not provide enough nutrition to promote the strong roots, crowns and leaves needed to withstand disease. Follow the proper feeding schedule for your turfgrass.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Too Much or Too Little Water” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]If the lawn is not getting enough water, the turfgrass begins to resemble straw. Walking on the lawn leaves footprints in the turf. Water only when needed to prevent overwatering. Do it as early in the day as possible to allow evaporation from grass blades. Be sure to follow any watering ordinances or restrictions for your area.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Watering During the Day” open=”yes” icon=”caret”]It is actually best to water your lawn in the early morning, before the sun has risen, or in the late evening, after the sun has set. Water droplets on grass can act as magnifying glasses for the sun’s rays, which will actually burn the grass instead of hydrating it. Setting sprinkler timers for optimal watering hours will help with this issue. For help with setting up a sprinkler timer and/or repairing or installing a sprinkler system, call Dr. Sprinkler Repair today![/su_spoiler]