brown grass

What to do About Brown Grass

Lawn looking pretty sad? Welcome to the club.

    Summer can be tough times for otherwise lush lawns. This time of year it’s not uncommon to find lawns with big, brown patches; thin spots, or even grass that looks dead. The Purdue Extension Porter County feels your pain, according to John Nash, Purdue Master Gardener and extension office hotline manager.

     “We’re getting numerous calls from homeowners with turf problems leaving them frustrated and wondering what can be done,” Nash said. “During the summer, your lawn is actively growing and summer weather conditions can and will effect your lawn.”

     Extreme weather conditions such as excessive heat, lack of rain, or too much rain, and humidity can conspire to produce stressful conditions for any lawn. If stressed by a lack of water and excessive heat, lawns will go dormant and the grass will stop growing, gradually turn brown and appear dead.

     Nash said when weather conditions improve with cooler temperatures and regular rains, the grass roots will respond by producing new blades of grass and the lawn greens up again. Likewise, if weather becomes too wet with heavy rains and high humidity, lawns are susceptible to a number of fungal infections, which produce circular patterns or brown spots on lawn. Most of these fungus attack the green blades and not the roots. The brown spots are a temporary condition that will gradually fade when weather improves.

     If waiting for the weather to change is not an option, homeowners should contact a professional lawn company for advice, or access the Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture This website offers valuable information on establishing and maintaining lawns along with weed, disease, and insect control.

     For more information about any garden or small farm issues, call the Porter County Extension Office, 219-465-3555.

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