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What Are the Most Common Reasons for Brown Spots on a Lawn?

Posted by Stephanie Morgan on June 12, 2023 @ 9:00 am PST

A beautifully green lawn is the pride of any homeowner, but when brown spots start appearing, it can be frustrating and concerning. A variety of factors, including disease, pests, environmental conditions, and improper maintenance, can cause brown spots. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons for brown spots on a lawn and how to address them.

Lack of Water or Overwatering

Water is essential for the health of your lawn, but too much or too little can cause brown spots. Underwatering can cause the grass to turn brown and dry out while overwatering can lead to root rot and fungal diseases. Therefore, it is crucial to find a balance and water your lawn deeply but infrequently, usually once or twice a week, depending on the climate and season.

Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases can also cause brown spots on your lawn. Common fungal diseases include brown patch, dollar spot, and fusarium blight. These diseases thrive in warm and humid conditions and can spread quickly if not treated promptly. Fungicides can treat fungal diseases, but you must also aerate the soil and improve drainage to prevent their recurrence.

Insects and Pests

Insects and pests can also cause brown spots on your lawn. Grubs, chinch bugs, and armyworms are some of the most common pests that can damage your property. These insects feed on the grass roots and cause the grass to turn brown and die. Insecticides can be used to treat the infestation, but it is also vital to improve the health of your lawn by fertilizing and watering it properly.

Pet Urine

Additionally, pet urine causes brown spots on your lawn. This is because the nitrogen in pet urine can burn the grass and cause it to turn brown. To prevent this, train your pets to urinate in a designated area or dilute the urine with water after they have urinated.

Compacted Soil

Compacted soil can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass, leading to brown spots. Regularly aerate the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil and promote healthy root growth.

Weed Control

Weeds can also cause brown spots on your lawn by competing for water and nutrients. Weeds such as crabgrass and dandelions can quickly spread and take over your lawn if not controlled. It is important to remove weeds by hand or with herbicides and to maintain a healthy lawn to prevent their recurrence.


Finally, sunlight can also cause brown spots on your lawn. If your lawn receives too much sun, the grass may dry out and turn brown. Choose the right type of grass for your climate and to provide shade when necessary.

As we have noted above, brown spots on a lawn can be caused by a variety of reasons. From dog urine to fungus, each cause requires different treatments. The Experienced Gardener is here to help you with all your lawn care needs. With years of experience, we can provide the best advice and guidance to ensure your lawn stays healthy and green. So don’t wait if you see brown spots appearing in your yard. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful, green lawn that will be the envy of your neighbors.