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Discolored Grass in Winter

Lawn Care Tips

A discolored lawn can be a depressing (and ugly!) prospect. Whether beige, brown, straw-colored, or a hue that’s in between – if your lawn’s not green, you likely want to know why.  

That’s where Weed Man comes in. To help kick off lawn care season, we’ve taken a look at some of the most common causes of discolored turf and how you can help. 

Dormancy. Lawns go into hibernation mode (dormancy) and turn brown when they do not receive enough water. This acts as a method of conserving moisture, protecting themselves from seasonal damage and coping with extreme temperatures and conditions. Cold winters can be harsh on grass plants, which is why cool season grasses (bluegrasses, fescues, and ryegrasses) become dormant when temperatures consistently fall below 45-55 degrees F. However, dormancy can also occur in extremely hot, dry weather. 

Dog Spot. Discolored grass is a normal result of dog urination on the lawn. Like humans, dogs tend to fall into routines, and often head to the same spot to relieve themselves day after day. Because animal urine contains soluble salts, urea and other compounds, damage can occur in the form of discolored patches on the lawn. Sometimes, if the damage is not significant, watering the area will help to disperse the salt concentrations, but you will likely still need to rake and overseed affected areas.

Debris on the Lawn. Toys, furniture, planters, and other miscellaneous objects that have been left on the lawn for an extended period of time can cause extreme lawn discoloration. Because sunlight and water aren’t able to reach the crown of the grass plant, the structure of the plant ultimately suffers. To green up these areas, you will need to remove the object from the lawn and rake very gently. Seeding may be necessary depending on the severity of damage.  
While dormancy is completely normal and expected at this time of year, any other causes of turf discoloration should be brought to Weed Man’s attention. We’ll be able to help identify any potential issues and recommend a course of treatment for your lawn.
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