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How to Restore a Brown Lawn

In order to restore a lawn to its green glory, you first need to know what the problem is. Brown, brittle grass might not be a sign of underwatering; there could be bigger issues at play.

What’s Wrong With My Lawn?

While it’s true that during seasons of drought a lawn hibernates and turns brown, that’s not the only reason it does so. Sometimes a brown lawn is a sign of insufficient nutrients in the soil or a fungus. Lawngevity shares some insight as to why your lawn might be patchy, brittle, or brown, and how to restore it.

Dormant Grass

In Utah, our lawns are subjected to all four seasons, sometimes to our lawn’s detriment. In winter, it’s common for the grass to brown slightly since it’s a dormant season. If your grass greens up again in the spring with rainfall or irrigation, then you probably just have warm-season-loving grass that hibernates when it’s cold.

On the flip side, if your grass seems to thrive in the cooler months but browns in the summer, you may have cool-season grass that can’t tolerate the scorching heat of the sun. Instead of ripping out the grass and planting a warm-season alternative, you could add more shade to your lawn to protect the existing grass.

To maintain a dormant lawn and encourage it to wake from its hibernation at the change of seasons, give it ½ inch of water every two to three weeks. This will sustain the grass and encourage the roots to keep digging deep for moisture. When it’s time to perk up the lawn and get it green again, increase watering to one inch per week.

Diseased Grass

Unfortunately, sometimes a seemingly dormant lawn doesn’t bounce back with adequate watering. In this case, brown grass may be caused by a disease. Brown patches accompanied by white or black usually means you need to give your lawn a bit more TLC to restore it.


Overwatering, impaction, and high temperatures can encourage fungal growth in your lawn. If your lawn can’t properly drain after watering or rainfall, excessive moisture can make your grass more susceptible to disease.


  • Brown Patch
  • Dollar Spot
  • Gray Leaf Spot
  • Leaf Spot
  • Pythium 
  • Red Thread
  • Rust Lawn
  • Snow Mold
  • Summer Patch


Depending on the type of disease your lawn has, treatment varies. In general, a fungicide can help restore a diseased lawn. The following are additional tips from Lawngevity for preventing and treating diseased grass.

  • Aerate – Help your lawn breathe by reducing how compacted it is.
  • Check soil pH – Most lawns prefer a pH between 6 – 7.
  • Fertilize – Be sure you’re fertilizing at the right times of year for the type of grass you have.
  • Mow – Keep your grass at its recommended height, and bag clippings if you suspect they’re infected with disease.
  • Thatch – Remove excess thatch on your lawn to avoid creating a breeding ground for fungus.

It may take up to one month for your lawn to return to optimal health after applying fungicide. 

Pests and Pets

Creepy crawlers may be causing your yard to suffer as they eat grass roots or blades. Sometimes, welcome critters such as the family dog are responsible for damaging the grass as well. While you can’t get rid of the pets, you can take care of the pests with insect control services from Lawngevity.

We treat for ants, beetles, earwigs, mites, spiders, and more with up to seven applications of pest control treatment. This will not only give your lawn a break from being a bug buffet, but it will also deter pests from getting into your home.

As for the pets, you can reduce their impact on your lawn by watering down the spots where they urinate in an attempt to dilute it. You can also give your pet treats with glyco component C1, which neutralizes the nitrogen in pet urine that leads to lawn burn.

Additional Tips for a Healthy Lawn

Restore your lawn each year by removing dead vegetation and weeds. Replenish nutrients with lawn booster and fertilizer, which adds gypsum and nitrogen to your lawn. Lawngevity can set up a schedule for applying custom fertilizer to your lawn, or you can try our DIY program if you prefer. Call 801-618-2785 for a free bid today.

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