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How to Turn Brown Grass Into Green Grass

front lawn image by Tracy Horning from

Achieving and maintaining lush green grass is a time-consuming and laborious process. Gardeners invest hours of hard work to achieve a healthy lawn that stands out in the neighborhood. Sometimes, however, despite our best efforts, lawn grass turns brown. Several factors cause grass to turn brown, including dog urine damage, insect damage, over-fertilizing and foot traffic. But you can restore the color and health of your grass.

Step in your lawn to identify the possible cause. Your canine’s urination habits could be causing grass to turn brown. Dog urine, specially from female canines, contains large amounts of nitrogen that causes grass to burn and turn brown. Douse spots where the dog urinated with water immediately, and spray a non-toxic dog urine neutralizing solution directly over it.

Redirect foot traffic from your grass by placing steppingstones as an alternative. Too much traffic on grass compresses it, causing it to turn brown due to lack of sunlight and oxygen. Also remove any weighty objects placed over your grass so it receives sunlight and air circulation.

Walk through your lawn early in the morning and look for cobwebs over patches of brown grass. This fungal disease is called dollar spot and is caused in very humid conditions. Fertilize the area so it becomes healthy again, or use a fungicide specifically formulated for grass.

Spray 2-foot wide brown spots surrounded by discolored grass with a sulfur fungicide. This fungal disease is called brown-patch lawn disease and usually dies down after an application or two.

Water your entire lawn along with the brown patches two to three times a week. Do this early in the morning and leave the garden hose on for up to an hour so water reaches the soil 3 to 4 inches below to fully hydrate the area. An alternative is to install an automatic sprinkler system throughout your lawn.

Look out for uniform brown spots throughout your lawn that appear after a recent application of fertilizer. Such spots indicate a grass burn that occurs due to the heavy dozes of nitrogen in the fertilizer. Water the area heavily to dilute effects of heavy nitrogen.

Rent a dethatcher to dethatch your lawn if there is a layer of dead grass on the soil, just at the ends of grass blades. You can also use a rake if the layer is not too thick. This allows better air circulation to the entire grass blade, thus helping it turn healthy and green again.

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