Troubleshooting Brown Spots on Your Lawn
Are the brown spots in your grass caused by a lawn fungus, insect pressure or bad soil? Most likely they are caused by something as simple as poor sprinkler head adjustments. Lawn watering is the biggest frustration for most homeowners and a few changes to the way a lawn is irrigated will make big improvements to the overall health of your grass and will get rid of the brown spots in your lawn.
99% of lawn care problems are caused by poor sprinkler coverage or improper lawn watering techniques. Improper lawn watering causes lawn fungus pressure, too much water kills beneficial microbial activity in soils, and causes shallow digging grass roots. These common lawn care problems are typically caused by improper lawn watering techniques like under watering, over watering, too frequent of watering, and / or poor sprinkler coverage. Sometimes one lawn will have sections of the yard that are being over watered and other sections that are severely under watered.
These lawn watering problems can be fixed by closely following the lawn watering technique called 1-2-3-2-1 lawn watering. Organo-Lawn invented this lawn watering technique specifically for lawns in Boulder and Fort Collins Colorado, but this technique is universal worldwide.
How to Measure Your Sprinkler System Water Output
Inches of Water? To determine how much water your sprinkler system dispenses use a rain gauge, or a flat bottomed and flat sided container like a Tupperware dish, and place it in your lawn. Run your sprinklers for 30 minutes then measure the water depth. If there is 1/2 inch of water in 30 minutes you need to water 3 days per week for 30 minutes to obtain 1.5 inches of water per week. Repeat this process in every section of your Colorado lawn. Make sure to place a rain gauge in both the lawn’s green spots and the lawn’s brown spots.
Note: It is best to use more than one rain gauges per sprinkler zone, because sprinkler coverage may vary depending on the design of the sprinkler system.
Using a rain gauge can be an effective tool for measuring the output and coverage of a sprinkler system.
How to Identify Poor Sprinkler Coverage
Since 99% of brown spots in a lawn are caused by poor sprinkler head coverage, the first step in diagnosing a lawn fungus problem is to determine if the brown spot in a lawn is receiving adequate water. The first step in diagnosing a lawn disease, is to evaluate the sprinkler system. It is important to determine if the brown spots are being caused by poor sprinkler coverage or improper watering techniques, before we can conclude that the lawn issue is a grass fungus.
To properly evaluate lawn watering problems, take two identical rain gauges or two same sized flat bottomed and flat sided dishes (Tupperware dishes). Put one of the rain gauges or dishes in the brown spot and put the other another dish in a green spot of the lawn. Run the sprinklers for a normal cycle and after the cycle is completed measure the amount of water in each container. Usually there will be a significant difference between the amounts of water in the green area rain gauge versus the brown area gauge. This is because the sprinkler coverage is not as good in the brown areas as it is in the green areas. Obviously, the fix to the brown spot problem is to adjust the sprinkler head to it is getting better coverage in the brown spot of the lawn.
If you are having difficulty diagnosing what is causing the brown spots in your lawn, please contact Organo-Lawn and schedule a sprinkler system audit or lawn disease diagnosis with one of our lawn care experts.
To schedule organic lawn care services please call our office at (303) 499-2000 Boulder or (970) 225-9425 Fort Collins.
FAQ – Brown Spots in a Lawn
Do sprinkler companies know the best way to water a lawn?
Most sprinkler companies are very good at repairing broken irrigation systems, but they typically do not know how to properly water a lawn. Organo-Lawn’s sprinkler technicians are also professional lawn care experts. Our lawn care technicians can look at the symptoms of a lawn and we will be able to tell if that section of the lawn is being over watered, under watered or if it is programmed properly. We are lawn care experts first and we also know the best way to program and adjust sprinkler systems.