Brown/Dead Grass Issue

Asked April 8, 2014, 8:37 AM EDT

I have patches of brown/dead grass (Please see attached photo) all over my front yard this season. I can go to these areas and actually rake the dead grass into piles. The grass can be pulled up from the soil with little effort. I fertilized about a month ago using Nitro-Phos Imperial with a 15-5-10 ratio. I do have areas where the lawn greened up nicely but it appears that my situation is spreading with more dead grass.

As this is not just a problem for me it appears that most of my neighbors are having issues too. I know most of them have their sprinklers going everyday which is entirely too much for St. Augustine grass. I have not watered any this year, only once to make sure that my sprinkler system is in good working order.

I am wondering what I need to do in order to reverse my problem? Is there a certain product that I can buy to remedy the issue? If this is a fungal disease, could this have spread to my yard since my neighbors are applying too much water?


Harris County Texas

1 Response

From the attached image, it appears that you lawn is starting to green-up. The lawns in the area are taking a bit longer this year to break dormancy since we had a colder winter and a cool spring. Soil temperature affects when the turf starts to actively grow.

The addition of the 15-5-10 is a good start, maybe a bit early but definitely the correct fertilizer to apply. Apply your spring fertilizer application when the turf is actively growing (after 2-3 mows). If you apply too early, the winter weeds will use the fertilizer before the turf starts growing.

It's also good that you have not started to irrigate. We don't need it yet, especially if the lawn hasn't started to actively grow.

I would recommend raking the areas where there is dead material and applying a topdressing of compost. This will help the healthy turf fill in those bare spots.

Here are some links to additional resources that will help you manage your lawn.

Click on Turf Answers 4 You

Lawn & Landscape Care

Thanks for the question.