How Do I... Remove the Ugly Brown Patch on My Lawn?
Don’t let that bare, brown patch spoil the look of your luscious green lawn – here’s how to get rid of it.
A luxurious green lawn is a joy to behold and can be a real drawcard in summer when barbecues and pool parties are on the agenda. The last thing you want is a dry, brown patch to spoil its splendour. So what do you do if one forms on your lawn? Joe Rogers, technical manager of Lawn Solutions Australia, reveals the essential steps you’ll need to take.
Why do those bare, brown patches appear?
Brown patches on your lawn are caused by compaction. This means the soil is worn out from overuse and general wear and tear. It’s easily done – letting kids play on your lawn, moving garden furniture across it, and having parties outdoors can all cause compaction issues. Combine this with inconsistent lawn care, and the problem worsens.
Prevention is better than cure
Preventing those brown patches from forming in the first place is, of course, the ideal situation.
To keep your lawn in top shape, you’ll need to be diligent with your lawn care, by fertilising, mowing and watering regularly. Aerating your soil and top dressing will also help. Relocate your garden furniture from time to time to disperse wear and tear, and to allow even sun exposure.
Thankfully, once they have occurred, it takes just a few simple measures to remove these brown patches.
How long does it take to get rid of them?
This will depend on the season, your lawn type and how severe the patches are. But if you’re fairly consistent with your treatment, you can expect it to take about a month.
Water plus sun makes for a happy lawn
Dry spots on your lawn are caused by lack of water, poor drainage or bad soil. Watering your lawn regularly with a hose is the easiest way to fix this. I’d also recommend applying a wetting agent solution to affected areas to ensure efficient absorption of water into the roots.
Despite what you may think, a lack of sun can also contribute to a dry lawn. Pruning heavy foliage that shades your lawn will allow more exposure to sunlight. If this is not possible, consider a shade-tolerant ground cover such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo Lawn, which maintains and mends itself.
Weed out the bugs
Lawn grub and worm infestations can take hold of your lawn and kill patches of grass, particularly during the warmer months. Bugs are hard to diagnose, but will spread quickly once infestation takes hold, so check whether neighbours are also affected.
To test if bugs have affected your lawn, place a wet hessian bag or old towel on your lawn overnight. In the morning, lift to see if any bugs have gathered underneath. If yes, they are the cause of your brown patches. A fast-acting grub guard solution is the quickest cure. Spray onto affected areas every two weeks until you see a visible improvement.
Air it out
Aerating the affected area of lawn will help boost the amount of air, water and nutrients in the soil, which will speed up your lawn’s recovery.
For small areas, use aeration shoes or a three-pronged cultivator. Allow an afternoon to walk the full lawn, depending on the size.
Keep paws off
Letting your pets dig and scratch your lawn is a major cause of bare, brown patches. Keeping your pets away from affected areas as much possible will help rectify this.
Also, the nitrogen content in dogs’ urine can burn your grass or make dry patches worse. Training your dog to go to the toilet in an out-of-view part of the lawn is a non-invasive way to combat this. Alternatively, you can also purchase mineral-based ‘dog rocks’ that you place in your dog’s drinking water to filter out impurities, making it less likely to burn your lawn.