Help! There are dead spots in my lawn!

August 11, 2021 1:35 am Published by

Summer is the season to enjoy your yard—August 15 is even National Relaxation Day, celebrating that perfect time of year for cookouts, get-togethers, or spending time with friends and loved ones outdoors. A beautiful yard can be a great place to relax and unwind—but problems with your lawn can take the edge off of your enjoyment and relaxation.

While summer is the time of year when yards are often beautiful and healthy, there are problems that can arise that leave you with bare dead spots in your otherwise nice lawn. These dead patches can be frustrating—who wants to see a patch of dirt in the middle of their green space? Here, we’ll break down what might be causing these spots, what you can do about them, and how we can help.

What do dead spots in my lawn mean?

When grass is healthy, you usually know it by sight—it’s green and grows thickly. The color is more than beautiful—it occurs because the healthy grass is producing chlorophyll, which is important in helping grass transform sunlight into nutrients, a process called photosynthesis. When the grass turns brown in a patch, you know that something has gone wrong and the grass is not getting nutrients. Depending on what the cause is, you can attack the problem in different ways.

What causes dead spots?

If you have brown spots in your lawn, it’s a good idea to assess the likely culprits—figuring out the problem is the first step in dealing with it. If the grass is brown all over, you likely have a different problem—but with patches, there are a few common reasons.

One common cause? Objects resting on the grass. If you’ve just moved a grill, a child’s toy, a hose, or another object that’s been lying on the grass for an extended period of time, you’ll probably see a dead patch in the approximate shape of the object, which has likely prevented the grass from getting the sunlight it needs.

Foot traffic can be another cause—if there are spots of dead grass in your lawn where you often walk, the cause might be damage to the grass. Also consider whether the dead patch is in the area where a family dog often relieves itself—pet urine contains high amounts of nitrogen that can burn the grass. Chemicals or oil can also hurt the grass—if it’s in an area where you’ve recently spilled something, that might be the reason.

If none of these seem to be the case, consider the health of your lawn. If it’s often full of crabgrass, dandelions, and other weeds, dead spots can appear with the natural cycle of plant growth—when a dandelion dies, it might leave a dead or bare spot in the otherwise healthy grass. And consider whether your lawn has been dethatched during regular care—a buildup of organic matter can prevent the grass from getting nutrients from the soil.

The cause could also be grubs or fungal diseases. Grubs live below the surface of the lawn and eat away the roots, so the grass becomes unable to retrieve nutrients from the soil—fungus can damage the roots of the grass and prevent it from growing well.

What can I do about dead spots?  

You don’t need to despair—there are steps you can take to help your lawn look its best. For dead spots, you can try raking the dead area gently, including raking the soil to loosen it. Then spread on some new topsoil and sprinkle some grass seed. Water and fertilize to get the new grass off to a good start. Some products are available specifically to patch and reseed dead spots. This will help get the area looking good again.

But be careful—too much fertilizer or too much water can make the problem worse. And products are made for different types of grass according to the region you live in and for different seasons, which means that it can be hard to determine what the right step to take is for your lawn.

It might be a better idea to call in a professional than try to handle the issue yourself—especially if you aren’t sure what the problem/solution is. A good lawn-care regimen to keep the grass healthy will help defeat lots of problems before they start. Healthy grass grows more thickly, which in turn will make it hard for weeds to grow—and that means no bare spots when weeds die off. Good lawn health can also help to prevent fungus and issues caused by thatch.  And professionals have access to equipment like high quality mowers and leaf removal equipment, which can be used in the fall to set your lawn up for success.

What can I do to prevent dead spots in the future?

Besides a good lawn care routine that helps the overall health of your grass and prevents additional problems, you can also take preventive steps in other ways. Move objects like hoses around regularly—leaving them sitting in one place too long can damage the grass. And while your yard should be a place to enjoy, maybe give that favorite shortcut to the driveway a break, especially if foot traffic is leaving it bare.  


What can Victory Lawn Care Services do to help me?

Our team is here to help keep your yard healthy, beautiful, and keep your outdoor space up to its full potential. Whether you’ve encountered dead spots and would like help assessing and solving the problem or need lawn planting, or fall clean up services to prevent future problems, or simply want to set up a plan to keep your lawn maintained and healthy, we’re here to help.

When you’re ready to get started on your lawn care plan in Memphis, Germantown, or Collierville—or with a landscape, hardscape, or cleanup project—drop us a line to get an estimate within 24 hours and get your lawn project going. Use our online tool or give us a call at (901) 870-3720 and see how we can help you.

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