What's Causing Those Dead Spots In Your Lawn?

What's Causing Those Dead Spots In Your Lawn?

17 August 2018
 Categories: , Blog

Dead spots in the lawn can be frustrating, particularly if you spend a lot of time on lawn care. Fortunately, solving the problem is usually possible—but first you have to determine the cause.

Nitrogen burn

Nitrogen burns are relatively easy to spot. Generally, you end up with a patch of dead grass surrounded by a ring of grass that appears greener and possibly lusher than the rest of the lawn. This is because nitrogen in low amounts is actually good for your grass. It's when there is too much that you get burned spots. There are two main causes of nitrogen burn in a home lawn: over-fertilization or animal urine.

You can avoid over-fertilized spots by using a spreader in good condition. Fill the spreader in a location off the lawn so you don't spill excess fertilizer during the process. As for animal urine, your best option is to either water the spot where your pet relieves themselves often to flush out the extra nitrogen, or take steps to keep animals off the lawn.

Lawn grubs

Grubs live beneath the soil, where they munch on grass roots. You can spot their damage when your grass begins to die off in patches, and you can then pull up these patches in rootless sheets. The only real option for grub control is to reseed or resod damaged areas. To prevent future grub problems, begin an annual application of a grub control treatment on the lawn.

Sprinkler issues

A broken or badly aligned sprinkler head is a common issue that you can usually spot relatively easily because the dead area will encompass the spot that aligns with one of your sprinkler heads. It can be easy to miss the initial problem since many people set sprinklers to go off early in the morning. If you suspect a sprinkler issue, do a test run of the system and inspect the operation of each head. Fortunately, a lawn usually bounces back quickly once it's watered again.


Scalping occurs when the mower blades are set too low. Cutting grass too low can cause it to brown. Further dying back occurs because the too-short grass can't grow a deep, healthy root system. Raising your lawnmower blades solves the issue. As a general rule, you should remove no more than an inch of grass at each mowing. A blade height of 2.5 to 3 inches is generally ideal.

For more help, contact a lawn maintenance company.