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Dealing with the Dry Spots: How to Treat Dry Spots on Grass


Dry spots can occur anywhere in your lawn at any time of the year. Usually, a dry spot on grass is an indicator that the grass is stressed. You can easily identify a dry spot by just looking at the grass in comparison to the rest of the lawn. For example, healthy grass will appear green and a dry spot will appear in a yellow/brown color.


The root of the problem lies within the soil. When dealing with these brown patchy spots, you’ll want to continue to mow regularly, as this promotes air movement and allows your lawn to dry better. Our landscaping experts share step-by-step how to get rid of dry spots and help prevent dry patch in the future. 

What’s Causing the Dry Spots on Grass?


A few things can make dry spots in your yard go from bad to worse. Dry spots are most common in the summer months especially when there is high heat and occasional rainfall.

While fertilizer burn, inadequate water, and fungus may also cause these brown areas, the most typical ones we see as the cause of the dry areas are:


It’s cut too short. 


We get it. You don’t want to mow it as often, so you think – I'll cut the grass shorter. However, if your yard is full of dry spots it’s better to mow your lawn at a high setting (at least 3-4 inches).


You have a pet. 


If you have a dog, those dry spots on your grass could be from dog urine. These are usually smaller than the dry patches caused by fertilizer burn. Create a spot in the yard where the dogs can go and put mulch in that area, so you don’t have to worry about any future urine related dry patches. 


How to Fix Dry Spots in Yard


Here are the steps to help you deal with the unappealing dry spots on your yard: 


Get rid of any dead, matted turf. The new grass will germinate best when it is in direct contact with the soil. 


Grab that rake! You need to scratch the surface of the dry spot at least 2 or 3 inches to loosen the soil. Just tossing the seeds, sod plugs, or new sod on top of the hard ground isn’t as helpful. You want to give the roots access to the soil with more nutrients that’s found deeper under the ground. 


Scatter grass seed over the damaged area. We recommend investing in a hand seed spreader. If you go by hand, you may have clumps of grass seed fertilizer that only ends up causing more burn spots! 


Fertilize. If you opted for sod or plugs, you’ll still want to spread lawn fertilizer on the new areas to help the new grass root. 


Water! You’ll want to make sure the new areas are well watered. In order to get your grass green again during the drought season, apply 1 inch of water every 6 or 7 days. Your grass will hopefully return to its green color again once the temperature drops and the drought season is over.  If you replaced dry spots with new sod, we recommend using a hose for 15-20 minutes a day for at least 3 days to help make sure that the formerly dry spots retain moisture.


When Should I Water My Backyard?


Depending on your county’s watering policies, you’ll also want to set your sprinklers to the maximum allowed until the new grass is firmly rooted and the dry spots are gone!

After that, it is best to water in the morning, rather than at night because it will help prevent future brown, dry patches from developing. 

Pro Tip: In the Fall, core aerate your lawn as well as fertilize to replenish grass varieties after the blistering heat of our Tampa Bay summers.


Properly Maintaining Your Yard


Once you have determined what is causing the dry spots, then your lawn can usually be recovered with proper care. However, if you cannot figure out what the causes of the dry spots on your grass, it is recommended that you reach out to a professional.  


If you are in the Tampa Bay Area, Grass & Landscaping Hunters will help you with all your landscaping and lawn care service needs. We offer affordable, top-rated service. Call/text us today to get your lawn care quote! Remember, if you grow it, we’ll mow it.

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Brandon, FL 33511

Tel: 813-770-6795

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Serving Tampa Bay Area Since 2017