Maintaining a lawn can be a frustrating task, especially when it starts to turn brown or patchy even under the best care. You're most likely to see this problem during the summer when temperatures rise and you don't get as much rain, but the problem isn't always a lack of water. Sometimes your lawn may brown due to your own lawn care equipment and chemicals designed to protect your lawn. If you can catch the problem early enough, you can probably fix your lawn without having to re-seed or start fresh.
Every time you bring out your lawnmower you may be doing damage to your lawn. There are two main ways lawnmowers can cause lasting damage: you are either cutting too close or your blades are dull. Grass shouldn't be cut too close to the ground unless you're planning on getting rid of it. You can fix this by raising your mower slightly and making sure that your lawn is level. (An uneven lawn will have raised patches that put the grass too close to the mower blades.) If your blades are dull, your mower will pull up some grass rather than cutting it. Sharpen your mower blades regularly to make sure you're getting a clean cut.
Heavy Chemical Use
Fertilizer, pesticides and insect repellents work well, but in moderation. If any chemicals are being spread unevenly, parts of your grass may be covered in too much of the chemicals and will either get burned or die. Be careful to spread any lawn chemicals lightly and evenly, then increase as necessary instead of putting it on too heavy.
Poor Soil Conditions
No matter how much water and sun your grass gets, it can still die out if your soil isn't healthy enough. To test your soil, take a screwdriver and push it straight down into the soil. It should go down easily; if it doesn't, it is probably compacted, which is bad for your grass. This can be fixed by aerating your soil and top-dressing it. This just involves adding a thin layer of soil over your existing grass.
When you water, check to make sure there is not excessive runoff and erosion, especially if your lawn is on a slope. As water moves downhill it can take young grass and grass seeds with it, eventually causing brown or blank spots. You can fix this by aerating your lawn and also by smoothing out your soil.
Insects and Fungi
Insects that can damage your lawn can show up year round, but you'll usually see the most of them during mid to late summer. You can spot these by monitoring your lawn to check for bite marks on your grass blades or even by walking through your lawn and seeing what shows up on the bottom of your shoes. What product you need to buy depends on what you have in your lawn, so to avoid potentially harming your lawn with excess chemicals, try to catch one of the bugs and take it to a hardware store for someone to identify.
Fungi thrive in humid, moist conditions, so the best way to fight fungi is by making sure that your lawn has as much air circulation and access to sunlight as possible. This is sometimes hard to manage, so if you have a hard time keeping things dry, change your water schedule to water your lawn during the day. If you water in the late evening the water will stay on your grass longer; this is usually a good thing, but if you are trying to fight a lawn fungus, it can only promote its growth.
For more help in maintaining a struggling lawn, talk to experts at a company like Valentino Lawncare.