Purplish areas in lawn

Asked October 11, 2020, 5:11 PM EDT

There are purplish areas in the lawn in my backyard. I attached a picture. Can you tell me what this is? Also how can I manage it? I don’t use pesticides. I have well water. All the grass is tall fescue. We over-seeded two years ago. Thanks very much!

Howard County Maryland

2 Responses

The photo was taken from a distance and we see bare areas and weeds (possible crabgrass, nimblewill) we cannot make an accurate weed identification. We are not sure but some areas may have poor drainage ( some of the arborvitaes on the right look slightly yellow). https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-weed-id-and-management

The bare areas may be due to how the soil was prepared before seeding (you need good seed to soil contact), weeds that have died, drought, poor drainage, etc.
At this point it is getting late to seed. The best time is late August through mid October. The second best time is in the spring usually late March to early April. However, in the spring you are dealing with a lot of pressure from weeds.

You can consider sod now or in the spring. The best time to lay sod is late summer into the late fall (September-November). You can also sod in the spring. You can rototill the area and sod. You also have the option of hiring someone to install.
See our website for sodding tips which includes purchasing a high quality sod certified by the MDA. Also, installing sod which includes a soil test, site preparation, watering, etc. See step by step information.


When considering lawn renovation - another physical option for turf/weed removal is renting a sod cutter. A sod cutter slices under the roots and lifts strips of the sod from the ground exposing the bare soil.