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Brown spots in the lawn are unsightly and can have many causes. In addition to drought, lack of care, waterlogging and pests are also possible reasons for the discoloration. Therefore, before you can get rid of the brown spots, the site conditions and culture must be checked. Only then can the appropriate countermeasures be taken. Once the trigger is found, rescuing the lawn is usually very easy. We reveal what is important.

causes and measures


Drought and burns are two of the most common causes of brown spots on lawns. In periods of particularly low precipitation and in strong sunlight, the discoloration is often not just a single spot. Instead, the entire lawn may wither and turn brown.

Drying out and burning accelerates when you reach for the lawnmower in the hot midday sun. Because then the stalks lose more moisture and the interfaces are more susceptible to burns. Lawn mowing should therefore be carried out on overcast days or in the evening hours.
In addition, one regular watering important. Lawn sprinkling is also ideal in the evening, at night or in the early morning hours. There are three reasons for this:

1. When temperatures drop in the evening or at night, less water evaporates. This means that you can water more sparingly and the water has more time to be absorbed by the ground.

2. When watering during the day, water droplets on the stalks can act as a kind of magnifying glass and focus the sun's rays. This can lead to punctiform burns on the grass. This risk does not exist when blasting in the evening or at night.

3. Coordinated watering becomes possible. After very hot days, larger amounts of water are needed to compensate for the loss of moisture. After overcast days, however, sparing blasting is sufficient or you can suspend it.

But be careful, the evening blasting should only be done when the meadow is good again during the day dry can. Otherwise, the persistent moisture could cause fungal spores to spread.

waterlogging and fungal infestation

Persistent wetness and moisture, for example due to excessive watering, moss, fallen leaves or too thick grass can damage roots and represents an ideal breeding ground for fungal infections. Both can lead to brown discolouration.
If it is initially only excessive moisture or waterlogging, the countermeasures are comparatively simple. They include:


Scarifying has several advantages. On the one hand, it loosens the soil and removes moss. This allows water to penetrate the soil better. On the other hand, the grass is better aerated so that no moisture can accumulate. Scarifying also improves the supply and reduces the risk of fungal infections.

Cut the lawn

Long culms tend to trap more moisture and reduce evaporation. Regular lawn mowing, on the other hand, improves ventilation.

Adjusted watering

It is important to water the lawn, but only during dry periods or during the summer. Even then, the blasting should be adjusted as far as possible so that the grass is not flooded.

Keep the green clear

Leaves as well as brushwood lying on the lawn can cause light, yellow to brown spots and also pose a risk of trapped moisture and thus fungal infestation. The green should therefore be kept free.

These measures are also useful to prevent a fungal attack to prevent. If this is already the case - such as the so-called red tip, in which the grass turns yellow to brown - the stalks do not die off immediately. In order to get rid of the stains, however, the cause must be eliminated. An otherwise healthy lawn can then recover from the infestation. Regulating moisture is crucial for this. In addition, the grass should be strengthened with a lawn fertilizer.

Brown spots due to lack of nutrients

Grass is usually good at providing itself with nutrients. Depending on the soil, it can also be with nutrients undersupplied being. Color changes are not uncommon. On the one hand by the nutrient deficiency itself. On the other hand by the reduced defenses that result.

If growth is generally rather weak, a lack of supply is likely and fertilization is advisable. The easiest way is to use a special lawn fertilizer for this. Slow-release fertilizer requires the least amount of effort because it only needs to be applied infrequently. You can use a spreader to distribute it as evenly as possible.

A spreader helps with even fertilization.

Wrong fertilizing

Just as a lack of nutrients can cause brown patches on the lawn, discoloration can also develop from improper fertilization. This is possible, for example, through:

  • too little or too much nitrogen
  • general over-fertilization
  • irregular application of fertilizer
  • Fertilizer does not penetrate the soil sufficiently

The grass needs potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen in the right composition. A lawn fertilizer provides these minerals - but not always in the right amount. Type of grass, stress and the nutrient content of the soil play a decisive role here. If the lawn shows brown spots despite supposedly correct fertilization, a analysis of the ground make sense. Based on this you can adjust the application of the nutrients.

It is also important to ensure that the fertilizer is applied evenly. If a large amount of nutrients collects in one place, this is over-fertilization. On the other hand, an undersupply can occur around these high concentrations. If there is too much fertilization, there will be brownish discolouration, but if there is too little, the grass will be lighter. The already mentioned spreader is therefore a good investment. Again, you have to make sure you have the right setting.

Last but not least, it is also important that the fertilizer can penetrate the soil well. Chemical burns can occur if dry manure is left on the grass. Fertilization should therefore be as low as possible just before rain respectively. Alternatively, the lawn must be watered after fertilization. However, this only applies to mineral fertilizers. Organic media, such as very short grass clippings left on the grass, do not require watering.

tip: Iron fertilizer used as a moss killer can temporarily produce brownish, reddish or black spots. This is not damage, just oxidized iron. Thorough watering will remove the effect within a few days.


Another possibility for brown spots on the lawn are pests. Both the larvae of the meadow snake and the warbler can be found just below the turf and feed on the roots of the grass. The brown discoloration is caused by the grass dying in the affected areas.

Both cases are ideal for getting rid of no insecticides as these are not permitted for private use. But there are other methods and options to combat the pests. This includes:


The controlled tearing up of the turf makes it "uncomfortable" for the larvae. A well-aerated lawn is also less attractive for laying eggs.


SC nematodes are roundworms that are commercially available. They are distributed on the lawn after they have been applied and first work their way into the soil. They then attack the larvae of the crane fly and infect them with a bacterium. The larvae die.

calcium cyanamide

Calcium cyanamide applied at the beginning of spring controls the larvae of the meadow crane fly. In addition, the agent acts as a fertilizer.

Attract and collect larvae

Ten parts moistened wheat germ and one part sugar are mixed together and placed on the lawn in a shallow dish or on a plate. The mixture serves as bait for the larvae. With the onset of dusk, they gather on it and can then be collected and destroyed.

remove turf

In the case of a very strong pest infestation and especially with the larvae of the warbler, it may be necessary to lift off the entire turf including the top layer of soil and dispose of or destroy it. However, grass, soil and roots should not end up on the compost, as the pests would only spread from here to the newly sown lawn.

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