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Early Taste of Summer - Brown Spots!

Posted 2015-05-28

With the cool monsoon season behind us (April 2015 was the 3rd wettest on record), we've quickly gone from 'swampy' conditions to dry, ground-cracking-open conditions with near record heat in a very short time.

Calls of concern start coming in as the lawns are lush and green one week, then sporting brown spots or areas the next.What can be done to minimize the change?

  • In many cases, there is subsurface rock, concrete or other buried construction debris that impedes the lawns' root system (see photo images).  As soon as any heat and/or drought stress appears, the turf above these obstructions starts to dry up.Ultimately, removing these buried 'treasures' is necessary.In the meantime...

    Water.If you choose to irrigate your lawn, try to do so in the morning hours of 5-9am.  During extreme heat and drought, usually 3x weekly at 30 minutes per zone is suggested, thereby providing a good 1-2" of water per week.  NOTE:  If you water in the evening, the grass blade stays wet overnight and is more susceptible to disease issues...another source of brown spots!

  •  Mow your lawn when it needs cutting, not just because of a preferred schedule.  Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at any time.  Make sure your mower blade is sharp and that the blade is set at least 3" high.  Shorter mowing just adds to the lawn's stress and further weakens the turf.

Ultimately, there is no perfect weather, perfect soil or perfect grass.

Variables continue to change, and we need to make adjustments as each season progresses.