Bermuda Grass Turning Brown: Symptoms, Causes & 5 Ways To Fix The Problem

It becomes more problematic when you have a Bermuda Grass turning brown that appears to be growing more significant.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to figure out what’s causing the problem, cure it, and get some repairs done before it spreads to your lawn’s healthy areas.

More to read: Bermuda Grass Vs. Fescue – What’s the difference?

Excessive shade, soil compaction, aeration issues, fungal infection, and dormancy are significant causes of dark lawn patches.

Treating lawn fungus, aerating your lawn, and decreasing shade are all simple ways to get rid of unsightly dark areas.

Each of the issues necessitates its own set of solutions or preventative actions. So, before you run out and buy a can of anti-fungal pesticide for your lawn because you think you have brown patch fungus, think about the actual cause.

Read on to dig deeper into the matter!

Bermuda Grass Turning Brown

To fix the dead spots, you must first determine what caused them and treat them properly.

Symptoms

  • Brown spots are growing in size.
  • The brown spots often form an outer circle encircling a smaller inner circle with living grass.
  • The brown tint appears in every grass blade, except the crown, which retains its original beautiful green color.


Why Does Bermuda Grass Turn Brown?

Green grass - Bermuda Grass Turning Brown

Green grass

Soil compaction, cold periods, or growing in the shadow, which inhibits photosynthesis, can all contribute to brown Bermuda throughout the growing season.

Leaf spot, a dead spring spot, and brown patch disease are all fungi that can also turn Bermuda brown.

Compaction Of The Soil

Compacted Bermuda can also become brown. The soil might get wet in regions where the dirt under the grassroots is tamped down.

This will eventually suffocate the grassroots. Bermuda dies due to a lack of oxygen and inadequate drainage.

You must aerate Bermuda lawns to avoid soil compaction. You may revive it faster by manually sprigging Bermuda propagating new grass blades.

Too Much Shade

Bermuda requires sufficient sunshine for photosynthesis. Thus heavily shaded portions of your lawn are prone to dead grass patches.

Each day, Bermuda needs at least 4 hours of direct sunshine. Less sunlight exposure leads the grass to photosynthesize less, lowering the amount of energy available to the plant and slowing its development.

It’s a good idea to mow at a greater height while growing beneath the canopy of bushy plants. By doing that, the grass may catch more light and retain heat.

More to read: Can Bermuda Grass Grow In Shade? Here’s The Answers

Low Temperatures

Bermuda is a tropical grass that grows in warm climates. The active growth season for Bermuda begins in April and lasts through September in most regions where it thrives.

When the temperature is consistently below 55 degrees, your Bermuda lawn will develop dark patches during this dormant period, which will not remove until the warmer seasons return.

Brown Patch Disease

Bermuda is among the warm-season grasses that are most susceptible. Especially in the early spring and late fall, when nighttime temperatures might reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

When browning spreads or brown patches get more prominent, this is a sign of disease. Rhizoctonia is a fungal pathogen that causes it.

The majority of these fungi remain latent until the ideal conditions for growth and reproduction arise.

Dollar Spot

The issue that allows dollar spot to take hold is that the roots are dry, yet the grass’s morning dew and wet air are from the top down.

You may avoid dollar spots by using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. It would help if you did that at least once a month.

Additionally, you must do yearly actions to guarantee that water reaches the roots. Dethatch the lawn in the early spring and core-aerate it by punching holes.

Spring dead spot

Spring dead spot is a fungal infection that exclusively affects well-kept lawns. The more carefully you fertilize, the more enticing this fungal illness becomes.

It’s simple to spot. On Bermuda, it forms brown circles. It may seem like a bleaching effect depending on the intensity.

Pick a sprig of grass to investigate where you detect brown patches. Every component of Bermuda rots in the spring, including rhizomes, crowns, stalks, and stolons, are all parts of the plant.

Treating spring dead spots in Bermuda requires a delicate balance of fertilizer treatment rates during the growing season and the use of a fungicide after it has gone dormant in late fall.

More to read: Best Fertilizer For Bermuda Grass

How Do You Fix Brown Bermuda Grass?

Brown grass in late winter - Bermuda Grass Turning Brown

Brown grass in late winter

Once you’ve identified the cause, it’s time to start dealing with the problem. Consider some of the methods below to see which one works for your case.

Fungicides

Fungicides with a broad spectrum of action are available for lawns. It will be easier to cure if you can specify the precise type of fungus.

It would help if you did fungicide spot treatments once every two weeks.

You can also use Anti-fungal pesticides/fungicides, such as Southern AG Liquid Copper Fungicide.

However, the high costs of treating Bermuda fungus are why this is an issue that you should want to avoid rather than fix.

It’s good to plow the ground beneath the sods since this often-overlooked procedure aids with compaction relief.

In addition, it’s best to avoid midnight watering throughout the summer because brown patch disease propagation is due to nocturnal moisture on hot days.

Lastly, prune adjacent plants to provide enough airflow above your Bermuda, creating an atmosphere that isn’t favorable to fungal development.

Top Dressing With Either Compost Or An Organic Soil Mix

Heat stress causes brown areas on your lawn. But, you may prevent that by applying a top dressing of compost or an organic soil mix.

It frequently occurs during the summer, when the soil tries to hold moisture. Rake in a half-inch of organic compost or soil to relieve dry brown spots produced by heat stress.

Control Pests

You can use a suitable grub control insecticide to kill and prevent grubs. However, if the brown areas of dead grass appear every season, you might wish to take preventive action.

The timing of grub management is critical, and you must do it perfectly to avoid Bermuda dead areas in the following seasons.

Aerate Your Lawn To Reduce Compaction

Bermuda roots require a lot of space to flourish. Aeration of the lawn eliminates soil plugs, allowing the roots to expand.

You will improve nutrient absorption, and your Bermuda blades will recover their attractive lush green appearance, thanks to a more significant movement of water and air to the roots.

Reduce Shade

To get rid of brown patches on your lawn, provide bermudagrass at least 4 hours of direct sunshine every day. To enable more sunlight to reach your property, cut back shrubs and trees.

If this isn’t a possibility, a different variety of grass or ground cover than bermudagrass can be a better fit for your yard.

Furthermore, if you want to avoid brown areas, cut your Bermuda no shorter than one-and-a-half inches when mowing.

As a result, a significant length of each leaf blade will be exposed to direct sunlight, ensuring that adequate leaf surface area is left to support photosynthesis. It reduces the amount of tension caused by shading.

How To Prevent Brown Patches?

Brown patches - Bermuda Grass Turning Brown

Brown patches

  • Regular mowing

During the growing season, frequent mowing at exact heights is essential for Bermuda lawn care.

When there isn’t much sunshine, limit it to around 2-inches. When the sun is shining brightly, mowing twice weekly to keep the grass height under 2-inches prevents the grass from growing too long and becoming brown at the bottom.

  • Use a cool-season grass seed as an overseed

Overseeding your Bermuda turf using cool-season seed is one of the most excellent strategies to prevent brown areas in your lawn.

The cool-season variety will not become dormant in the autumn and winter, allowing your lawn to maintain its lush appearance despite the Bermudagrass’s inactivity.

  • Identify and treat lawn diseases.

A definite identification of the fungal illness or condition afflicting your Bermuda is critical in ensuring that you are spending money on treatments that will work.

The turfgrass disease sample procedure confirms whether or not your illness diagnosis is correct. The following is the suggested sample procedure:

  • Choose one of the diseased/brown patchy patches.
  • Determine the disease margin, which is the line where living and dead grass meet.
  • From the disease margin region, take a four-by-four-inch square turf sample. Fresh grass should make up half of the selection, while dead grass should make up the other half.
  • Do not remove the roots.
  • Keep the model away from heat and anything else that might quickly dry it out.
  • Take the piece to your county extension office for a professional evaluation. It would help if you did this as soon as possible to avoid the sample drying out.
  • If you can’t get your Bermuda sample to the lab the same day you dig it up, keep it refrigerated. It will also prevent it from drying out.

Watch the following video to learn more about the prevention of brown patch lawn disease:

Is Brown Bermuda Grass Dead?

Piece of turf - Bermuda Grass Turning Brown

Piece of turf

When your lawn goes brown, it might be difficult to discern if it is merely dormant or dead.

You may have to wait until the seasons change to find out for sure. But it’s crucial to attempt to determine if your grass is sleeping or dead so you can decide whether or not to continue caring for it. Whether you take care of it or not is up to you.

Will Brown Bermuda Grass Turn Green Again?

Field with grass - Bermuda Grass Turning Brown

Field with grass

It might take up to a month for natural grass to go dormant before it dies.

The summer heat frequently lasts longer than a month. As drought conditions improve and temperatures drop in the autumn, homeowners with natural lawns will need to boost watering during the summer drastically.

On the other hand, a dead lawn looks like dormant grass but does not come back when the weather improves or when you take action to rejuvenate it.

If your grass has perished, you’ll need to reseed or replace it to restore a healthy, green lawn.

Can You Overwater Bermudagrass?

Sprinkler in garden watering the lawn - Bermuda Grass Turning Brown

Sprinkler in garden watering the lawn

If you believe that your summer lawn troubles are due to drought, double-check that you’re watering your lawn adequately. It would help determine how much water your property requires by measuring the soil’s moisture intake.

Your grass needs around two inches of water each week, and if it doesn’t get that from rainfall, you’ll have to supplement with irrigation. Water early in the morning to avoid evaporation and avoid agitating lawn illnesses.

If you overwater Bermuda, the soil under the grassroots may become very compacted. Water droplets striking the grass gently fall to the earth, forming a solid connection and sealing off below-ground air spaces, making it breathless.

Conclusion

Your grass is still brown, whether it is dead or dormant. Plus, even if a natural lawn falls dormant, you must maintain it.

You can keep a fantastic lawn free of brown spots, patches, and thinning regions by correctly feeding the grass, hydrating it, and following the best planting and sodding procedures.

Related articles:

How to Plant Bermuda Grass

How To Properly Fertilize Bermuda Grass Lawns

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