dead areas / brown areas all over the yard

Asked April 5, 2020, 9:12 AM EDT

Hello - Wanted to see if I can get some advice on how to fix a large number of brown ares on my yard. We just recently brought this house in Potomac, MD, during late fall and winter and thought that this is just the grass going dormant, but even now, it is not showing signs of life. I have attached a picture for your reference. We have a acre and half of yard and this type of dead spots are all over the place, some times 6 - 8 feet spots. Appreciate any help you can provide

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Hi - This looks like nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi), a native perennial grass that is typically considered a weed in lawns. It is difficult to eradicate. In the winter, it turns brown (goes dormant) but it will green up in warm weather and continue to grow and spread. It thrives in shade and infertile soil and will move into sunny areas as well.

If you have not checked your soil fertility, a soil test may be in order. (We recommend soil testing every three years.) Proper soil pH is essential to maintaining healthy turf growth. A healthy, dense turf will outcompete weeds. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

Montgomery County’s pesticide law bans the use of most synthetic pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides on private lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, and childcare facilities. Organic pesticides are allowed. There are some exemptions for the use of synthetic pesticides, including for biting insects, indoor pests, and tree and shrub pests. Go to the following website for information regarding the law and organic lawn care information, www.MontgomeryCountyMD.gov/lawns

You can also ask them questions. Email AskDep@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov or call 240-777-0311.

Christa