My lawn looks burnt! Is it? Or is it something else?

We have been receiving many calls over the past week or two of the concerns that lawns are turning brown in sections and appear to be burnt! While the first assumption would be because of an application made, the experience can usually lead to a different symptom.


These are what many would assume to be a burn. In fact, they are not a burn at all. There is, however, stress to the turfgrass without a doubt! Here is the weather data we have received in the past couple of weeks.


Since we have cool-season turfgrass in our areas it’s reasonable to expect there to be a “cooler” temperature that they thrive in. This happens to be around 55 – 65 degrees! Looking at the weather data you can see we had a spike around May 28th and another more substantial spike around the 31st through the 2nd. When we go from 60 degrees or so weather to 85 – 90 degrees in a day it simply shocks the plants as well as creates prime conditions for fungus! Specifically Blight, Dollar Spot, and a few others.

Many lawns we have seen were cut the day of or day after the high heat spikes. Some were even cut with dull mower blades!


This is all-important information as it relates to the overall health of your lawns! The immediate take away is:

Don’t mow when it’s above 85 degrees consistently
Always mow with a sharp mower blade
Whether directly affects grass plants
Temperatures above 65 degrees will cause stress to our grasses

These takeaways are important to understand. This is another reason why we always tell our customers to mow their lawn TALL! 3” or more if you can stand it. The taller you consistently mow the deeper the roots will grow. In addition to that, you’re allowing a natural cooling effect to take place at the soil surface by allowing the grass to be taller. We always say “if you want it to look like a golf course you’ll have to maintain it like one”! That means constant monitoring, controls, amendments, watering, super sharp mower blades, etc. If you don’t have the desire or means to care for your lawn like that then we suggest raising your mower blade and ensure you are not removing more than ⅓ of the blade per cut.

If you have noticed in years past when we get into July, August & a bit of September lawns really slow down and start to turn brown. This is because of the weather! Minimal water and higher temperatures = slow growth, stress & fungus. Just because you have a lawn service feeding your lawn doesn’t mean you won’t run into problems beyond weeds and a green lawn.

If you have any of these concerns email us a photo and we will have a look. If necessary we can make a site visit. However, if you can pay attention to the weather and notice the trends you’ll be able to do your own basic diagnosis as to why things are looking less than what you may expect.

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