September 13, 2015

The classic Ann Arbor MI American single-family house has a beautiful green lawn surrounding it. Thus, it can be frustratdog and cating when your ideal verdant lawn doesn’t exist even when you’ve applied proper lawn care, and instead you have a ugly, patchy lawn with brown spots or bare patches of soil. Fortunately, this is a common problem that can be remedied. However, to determine how to fix it, you must first know why it is happening, as different causes necessitate different solutions.

Lack of Water

The most common cause for dead patches of grass is lack of water. In Ann Arbor MI, especially in the hot summer when it can be hot enough to evaporate water out of the ground, rain is not sufficient to keep your grass fully watered. To see if lack if water is indeed the culprit, use a shovel to dig a bit into the soil and see if it’s dry. If lack of water is the problem, make sure that the lawn is watered enough. If you use sprinklers, check that they are functioning well with no clogs and that they are covering the intended area–over time, sprinkler positions may shift.


Urine can harm grass due to the high nitrogen content. Most commonly, it’s a dog, but other large animals can also cause urine damage. Urine damage will cause a yellow spot with bright green margins where more diluted nitrogen acts as fertilizer. If urine spots are a frequent problem, water the area where your dog has urinated immediately afterwards to dilute it, or train them to urinate in a less conspicuous area. Alternatively, plant more nitrogen resistant grass.

Mowing Incorrectly

Although regular mowing is good, there are a number of ways it can go wrong. If the mower blade is set too low or if there are lumpy areas on your lawn that are higher, it can cut off the lower part of the grass that is responsible for the grass growing. Ensure that your mower blade is at the right height and that there are no high spots on your lawn. Mowing too frequently can also damage grass. In addition, a dull mower blade can tear the grass, causing damage, so it’s important to sharpen your blades regularly. Finally, it’s possible that gasoline, oil, or other substances are being spilt, which will cause irregular patches. Don’t overfill fuel and oil in this case, and if the problem persists, inspect your lawnmower.

Poor Soil

It’s possible for either compacted soil or nutrient deficit to be the cause of patchiness. To check for soil compaction, take a screwdriver and see if you can easily push it into the soil. If the soil lacks nutrients, apply fertilizer. However, too much fertilizer can also kill grass. Also test the pH of your soil–it’s possible for it to be too high or too low, and there are products that can fix this.

Lawn Diseases

There are many diseases that can affect your lawn. Many of them cause circular dead patches about a foot wide. However, because there are a multitude of lawn diseases that all cause circular patches, unless you feel comfortable trying many different products, the best course of action is to hire a contractor to save the trouble of doing complex lawn care.

Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.