Last year we took a very shallow dive into the topic of having a brown yard, while your neighbor’s lawn is lush & green. We talked about very basic causes of brown lawn like low improper mowing and drought. Here we will dive deep into the pathology of brown lawns so that you can get a better understanding of what your neighbors may be doing differently.
Read Part 1 of this series here: https://greenteamct.com/2018/07/16/2-big-reasons-why-your-lawn-is-brown-and-your-neighbors-isnt/
Start With Your Soil
If you’ve ever noticed your neighbor probing the ground and holding small viles of murky liquid to the sun, you may be witnessing a homeowner pH test at work. This would indicate they have found and corrected a pH imbalance in their yard that may exist still in yours. To have a green lawn you MUST start with the soil, and the first thing to check is the pH. Poor pH is a common culprit of browning grass.
Compaction is another major soil factor that kills grass. Tightly compacted soil suffocates grassroots and drains the chlorophyll that makes grass green. In this case, you may have noticed some holes and “dog-dropping” like cores on your neighbor’s lawn in Fall. This may be an indicator your neighbor is fighting compaction with regular aeration, thereby keeping their lawn healthier and greener than yours.
Read more on lawn aeration here: https://greenteamct.com/2019/09/16/be-true-to-the-core-true-core-lawn-aeration/
Insect pets such as Chinch Bugs, Japanese Beetle Grubs, and Weevils cause extensive damage to lawns that show up as yellow or brown patches. These insect pests are mostly hidden in your thatch layer and are nocturnal. It is near impossible to identify them as the cause of your brown lawn without the help of a professional. This is probably why your neighbor regularly has small yellow signs posted near her curb. She has recruited the help of a professional pest control company to identify and remove these brown lawn causing infidels.
Poor Seed Selection
Many homeowners find themselves buying the cheapest seed bag they can grab at Wallie World, but don’t understand the repercussions of this. Certain seed varieties do better in sun, while others do better in shade. Some do well on slopes, but don’t handle foot traffic well. But most importantly, some seed varieties do better in cool seasons and others in warm seasons. If your seed type doesn’t match your sun/shade conditions, climate, and watering practices; then it will be turned brown when it finds itself in these undesirable circumstances. In the Northeast, a precise ratio of Fescue, Rye, and Bluegrasses helps to provide a well balanced transitional lawn to thrive in all seasons.
Read more on lawn seeding here: https://greenteamct.com/2019/04/29/lawn-grass-spot-repair-seed-service/
Mowing Height: Revisited
Yes, mowing height was covered in part 1 of this series. But it remains a huge issue, especially in summer, that causes mechanical damage and browning of lawns. For some reason, homeowners believe that cutting a lawn shorter decreases the frequency they need to cut it. I challenge anyone to find a lush green lawn in a nice neighborhood that’s been freshly cut. I can bet my piggy bank it’s still twice as high as your scalped lawn 5 days after cutting. A high cut lawn is a green lawn. Cutting grass too low stresses the plant and doesn’t allow for recovery, thereby browning it out by mid-season.
Read more lawn mowing tips here: https://greenteamct.com/2019/03/21/lawn-mowing-tips-every-homeowner-should-know-family-handyman-the-family-handyman/
Have Your Brown Lawn Professionally Assessed & Treated
Visit our Lawn Seeding & Repair Page to Learn How We Can Help Identity and Correct Problems That Cause brown and ugly lawns. Request a Free Quote and we’ll assess your soil and make custom recommendations: https://greenteamct.com/lawn-repair