Eliminating Brown Patches in Your Lawn

While in the garden on the weekend, you notice a few brown patches on your lawn. You’re sure that those weren’t there last week. What could be the problem?

Apart from being unsightly, brown patches are indicative of a larger problem at hand. When you notice these on your lawn, it is highly recommended that you identify the underlying cause in order to enforce the appropriate solution.

Listed here are a few common causes and solutions;

Brown-Patch-DiseaseBrown patch lawn disease

This lawn disease is characterised by the round, dying areas in lawns. You will notice round patches measuring between 20 cm to a metre that are enclosed by a darker colour.

Typically, this disease infects lawns with poor lawn health. You will see this problem affect lawns during spring.

The disease is caused by microorganisms that are brought to the lawn by external sources like the shoes of visitors, pets, or even borrowed lawn mowers.



This problem entails a multi-pronged approach. For starters, you will need to identify the pathogen that is causing the disease and find the appropriate fungicide that will eliminate it.

Next, you will need to change your lawn care practices. That will include: reducing watering and doing it early in the morning; removing thatch; aerating the lawn, and ensuring that the lawn gets ample sunlight.

DollarSpot04Dollar spots

Dollar spots refer to small circular yellowish or brownish spots on the surface of the lawn, typically about the size of a dollar in diameter.

Often, this problem is caused by inadequate nutrients in the soil. This issue may be worsened by poor lawn care management like watering at night, presence of thatch, soil compaction and poor drainage.



The best approach to solving this problem is improving the health of the lawn. This may entail decreasing shade, watering in the morning, reducing watering, aeration, and applying quality fertilisers.

images (4)Spring dead spots

If you have couch grass planted on your lawn, one problem that you should watch out for is the appearance of spring dead spots. These round dead patches often start out with a diameter of 10 to 15 cm that can grow as big as a metre.

The problem often crops up during autumn. But because the grass naturally turns yellowish during this time, it can be hard to detect these spots which have been camouflaged. During winter, the spots become dormant and you will likely notice these spots months later during spring.



Spring dead spots entail the use of the appropriate fungicide as well as modifications to lawn care practices. These modifications include watering only in the morning, aeration, thatch removal and reducing shade. It would also be helpful to subject the lawn’s soil to a test in order to determine its pH level.

Dog urine

If you have a dog and you let it do its business on your lawn, it is fairly easy to see small brown spots. These brown spots are caused by your furry little pal’s urine which is high in nitrogen. The nitrogen in your dog’s pee can burn the grass and cause the brown spots.  Female dogs are more likely to be the cause of this, as male dogs tend to ‘spray’ the perimeter of their territory.


Often, these brown spots will resolve by themselves within a week or two. You might want to take your dog to another area for its bathroom needs while your lawn recovers.  Or if you see it happening, diluting the nitrogen rich deposit with a bucket of water or sprinkling with the hose will help.

Dry patches

Dry patches often appear on otherwise healthy lawns which are caused by the soil underneath the affected areas.


If the other areas in the lawn are healthy, you can simply remove the affected patch of grass. After that, you should loosen the soil using a garden fork or aerate it.

And of course, if you need help with any of the issues outlined above (apart from toilet training your dog perhaps) our Jim’s Mowing can definitely help.  Just call 131 546 or book a free quote online!

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