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Is My Lawn Dead? 3 Considerations (& What to Do)

5 min read

Brown grass can be an upsetting sight to see on your property. If your grass has turned brown, you might be wondering, is my lawn dead?

Before you can address the problem for your lawn in the Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or Northern Kentucky area, you need to know what caused it. You also need to know if you’re looking at dormant vs. dead grass. Dormancy is a natural protection mechanism that grass will go through to withstand weather changes.

We’ve rounded up some information on what to look for as you try to make a determination as to what’s going on with your lawn.Dormant lawn

1. Consider the Time of Year

If you’re trying to determine is my lawn dead or dormant, you have to consider the time of year and what the conditions have been like. Cool season turf grass will go dormant if it’s not getting moisture over a period of three weeks. If it’s summer and there’s a lack of water, it could be dormant.

Grass will also go dormant in the winter as a protection mechanism against the cold.

But if the conditions are good weather-wise, and your grass is still turning brown, it’s probably not dormant. Instead there is likely something else going on.

2. Look at How Much of the Lawn is Affected

When homeowners call us and they tell us their grass is turning brown, one of the first questions that we ask is what areas are affected. Is it in small areas, just one section of the lawn, or is the entire lawn?Turf Disease

That’s an important factor in starting to determine what is going on.

If it’s one specific spot on the lawn that’s affected and it’s not appearing to spread, then we might ask if the homeowner did some sort of lawn treatment on their own or whether a chemical got spilled. We might also ask what the conditions are like in that one area. Sometimes there can be an area on the property that is prone to environmental stress because it’s a high point or a low point. It might get more sun and/or less water (or maybe it’s a spot that gets too much water).
It could even be a spot where someone dragged out a baby pool or a cornhole board and the grass died under it.

But if multiple areas of the lawn are affected or the brown spots are in patches, it could be a lawn pest or a disease causing the trouble.

3. Consider Your Watering Habits

Watering the lawn can also play a significant role in its overall health and color. It’s important that you are watering properly. When your lawn doesn’t get enough water, and is drought-stressed, it can definitely turn yellow, then brown, and ultimately become a dead lawn.
Proper watering is key to a thicker lawn
Footprints are often left behind on drought-stressed lawns. The grass bends as someone walks on it and doesn’t pop back up again.

But overwatered lawns can cause some of the same issues. A lot of people don’t realize that it is possible to water too much. This can drown the plant roots and cause similar signs and symptoms of a drought-stressed lawn. If the ground has a spongy feel to it when you walk on it, it’s overwatered.

You might be wondering, will watering dead grass bring it back? If it’s truly dead, your best course of action is to correct what was causing the problem so it doesn’t happen again. Then, aeration and overseeding can start to fill in any bare patches that were created. It won’t regrow the dead lawn but it will help you start to establish a new lawn in its place. And with a proper diagnosis of what caused your problems in the first place, you can get off on the right track this time.Lawn care technician aerating

What to Do About a Dead Lawn

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to first determine what is causing your brown spots before you move into the action phase. Different lawn problems have different solutions.

The problem is, if you misdiagnose what’s going on, you could cause yourself a lot more trouble. It’s not always just a matter of delaying the solution. It can actually cause more harm. We have heard stories of chinch bug damage or a lawn disease being misdiagnosed as drought stress. But watering won’t fix either of those problems. In fact, watering will only aggravate a disease and cause it to spread.

Unfortunately, even some lawn care pros make misdiagnoses that set the homeowner back. The key is to partner with a lawn care professional who truly can help.

Partnering with Oasis Turf & Tree for Lawn Success

At Oasis Turf & Tree, we are skilled at making proper diagnoses and setting our customers up on the best path. We even invite our clients to text us pictures if there are issues arising on their lawns in between our visits. We truly care about keeping lawns in our area healthy and thriving.

In fact, if you’re someone who is experiencing some of these issues and you aren’t a customer, we still invite you to reach out. At Oasis Turf & Tree, we love talking about lawns and guiding homeowners to the right solutions. Feel free to reach out via text or give us a call. We’ll help you diagnose what’s going on so that you can get your lawn back on track to good health.

Want to learn more about professional lawn care services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros help you get the lawn of your dreams!

Check Out Our Lawn Care Programs & Costs!

Learn about lawn insects in Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or N. Kentucky

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