Brown, Dry and Thin Lawn

Brown, Dry, and Thin Spots in the Lawn?



Lawns will begin turning dormant when roots can no longer grab nutrients, or when there is not enough moisture in the soil.  The last major rainfall in our location was the final weekend in April.  This is when we received 4.8 inches.


Go Green Customized Lawn Care wanted to let you know about the typical culprits, and tips on how you can green up your grass again.



During periods of high heat, low water, and low humidity, many turfgrasses go dormant. This is normal!  Your grass will recover when the temperature drops and rain resumes. When temperatures of this nature occur, please refer to our Mowing Tab on the website and follow the Summer Mowing Tips.  There is nothing wrong allowing “Summer Shag” to take place early during times of drought stress.


Soil Types

Our area is known for clay-based soils, and during times of drought clay particles shrink and pull more tightly together. Think of clay as a big sponge. Fill the sponge full of water and it puffs up; dry out the sponge and it shrinks. This will cause a lack of oxygen needed by roots in your lawn. 


Watering your lawn to sustain drought dormancy is helpful during the process. The goal is to apply ½ inch of water every two or three days weekly during the drought. Always water in the morning!  To green it up again, apply 1 inch of water every 6 or 7 days — about 2 hours of sprinkler use. Or wait until temperatures drop and rain resumes, when it will turn green again on its own.



Common weeds can win the competition with your lawn for water and food. Remember in early spring when you may have seen an unwanted, pesky grassy weed.  Roughstalk Bluegrass will begin to die off due to the heat and lack of rain.  Therefore, you may start seeing brown areas where this pesky weed had overwintered.


Grass Types

Go Green Customized Lawn Care uses a turf-type tall fescue which has a greater heat and drought tolerance than Perennial Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass. Tall Fescue is among the best drought-resistant cool-season grasses due to its minimal irrigation needs of one to 1.25 inches of water weekly. It uses water efficiently, as its roots can grow between two to three feet long to access water deep in the soil.