A beautiful lawn is a thing of pride and joy, but not so much when the lawn becomes damaged by pests or has other issues. In this blog, we look at some of the more common reasons parts of a lawn die. In some cases, that damage is from pests and in others, those dead spots are from lawn maintenance or lack thereof.
Drought and Poor Watering – The damage to a lawn because of drought or lack of watering is usually widespread and the dead zones are even. They start with the higher parts of the lawn and those areas that get full sun. You will likely see intermittent areas within dead zones where the grass is still trying to survive.
Overwatering – Grasses, like all plants, have a preferred level of moisture and those levels change based on the type of grasses that make up your lawn. The damage from over watering begins with yellow patches usually in the lower parts of the lawn where water can puddle or where gravity pushes water. As such, dead zones usually appear in rings especially if your lawn has depressions. The yellow spots turn brown as the grass dies and then become barren patches. Reseeding will not work well to fill in these spots as the water kills the seedlings too.
Sprinklers should be set to overlap so that the entire lawn is watered evenly. You can also install sensors that automatically water the lawn when the soil moister level reaches a specified percentage or that automatically cancel the sprinkler cycle if it is raining.
Damage from Chinch Bugs
Generally, lawn damage from chinch bugs occurs in patches and in straight lines. This is not because the crafty pests are linear but because of how lawn design leads to areas of the lawn where there is less moisture. Most lawns in the Greater Austin Area have chinch bugs but you don’t notice their presence until their population explodes. When that happens, dead spots seem to show up almost at once. Your beautiful lawn looks amazing one day and then a yellow patch appears and then it turns brown and the grass dies. This is not from lack of water or lack of fertilizer. The dead zones on your lawn are likely due to a fungus that uses the chinch bug to infect and kill grasses. The fungus blocks the water pathways within the grass stalk and the stalk turns yellow and then dies.