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Why is my grass dying in patches?

Even the most carefully looked after lawns can fall victim to patches of dead grass over time, leaving you wondering, ‘why is my grass dying in patches?’. But luckily, these areas of dying grass are easily diagnosed and don’t take too long to fix. So fear not; it won’t be long before your grass is green and healthy again!

patch of garden lawn that is dying in patches

So, why is my grass dying in patches?

Below we have listed the most common causes to help answer the question - "Why is my grass dying in patches?". Of course, some causes are easier to identify than others, but hopefully, our suggestions will give you insight into what is causing the disruption of the grass seed growing in your garden!

Wear and Tear patches

lawns that get used a lot will show patches

Gardens are there to be used, but sometimes, all the wear and tear stacks up, and your lawn doesn’t get a chance to recover. Most gardens see an increase in traffic during the spring and summer months. Whether this is due to family gatherings, kids playing, or dogs zooming around and digging, all this activity wears your grass down and will cause dying patches to appear on your lawn if left untreated!

Other things like the lawn mower, garden hose or lawn chairs sitting in the same place for a long time can also kill your grass. This is because your lawn isn’t getting sunlight (and quite likely, isn't getting moisture from the rain) – and this causes it to die.

By overseeding and feeding your lawn, you will be giving it a boost so it can grow lush again!

Dog Pee grass patches

dog pee patches

As cute and lovable as your pup may be, they can often be the cause of patches of dying grass in your garden. This becomes much more noticeable if they have a favourite spot in your garden where they always choose when they need to pee!

Dog pee is one of the main reasons grass turns yellow since it contains a lot of nitrogen. If you suspect your dog peeing is the cause of your grass dying patches, you can try training your dog to use a certain garden area when they feel ‘the need’. Then you can water that area using the garden hose or watering can. This will dilute the nitrogen and encourage your grass to grow super green again!

Our Tough Stuff Lush Lawn is ideal when planting a new lawn or when overseeding and will produce a more durable lawn! This seed mix is specially created for gardens with a lot of activity from dogs running wild, and pee patches will recover quickly!

Drought-stricken patches

drought stricken dying grass patches

Lack of water is another problem that could cause areas of your grass to die. You might think this sounds like something not likely to happen in the UK since it rains a lot here. However, there could be areas of your garden sheltered by trees or buildings that stop your grass from getting the moisture it needs to grow.

It’s also important to remember that during milder weather - which is becoming increasingly frequent these days - there may not be rainfall for weeks, combined with warm temperatures. So keep an eye on the weather forecast because if your lawn is developing dead grass patches during milder weather, it could be a sign that it needs watering!

Lack of nutrients patches

lack of soil nutrients creates grass patches

Patches across your lawn can also be a tell-tale sign that your grass requires nutrients. Well-fed grass maintains its health, thickness and appearance, and if you have not given your grass some lawn food in a while, then this could be why some areas are struggling!

Your grass’s health largely depends on your soil’s condition! Soil that is low in nutrients can weaken the grass’ root system, which can also mean your lawn will be vulnerable to pests, fungus and lawn disease.

We have a helpful guide to help you choose the best lawn food for your garden. And we have also made a video on the topic to make things even easier for you.

Lawn Pests and Fungus

lawn pests and fungus cause dying grass

If the patches on your lawn seem slightly different than what we’ve suggested so far, then there’s a chance your garden could suffer from brown patch fungus! This fungus is a common culprit, often caused by extended periods of rain, increased humidity and heat, or even poor air circulation.

Patches of grass affected by brown patch fungus often have green areas in the middle and dead patches around the outside.

Another possibility is that your lawn is being feasted on and dug up by grubs or leather jackets. These pests live underground and kill your grass by eating the roots. However, the patch of grass affected is usually quite uniform in size; the areas feel spongy to walk on, and thankfully, it comes up easily if you rake it away.

And we have a helpful guide that explains how to get rid of leatherjackets.

Thatch patches

thatch grass creates grass dying patches

The last potential cause on this list of why your grass is dying in patches is thatch. This is when dead plant matter builds up amongst the grass and the root system, which prevents water from getting to the roots.

Thatch usually happens when you don’t mow or water your lawn regularly. If the thatch grows too high, your grass may even start to grow roots within the thatch. But since thatch can’t hold water or nutrients, the grass will gradually dry out and die!

How to repair patches of dying grass

Now you have some insight into why your grass is dying in patches; you might also find our guide on repairing your lawn helpful!

But if the suggestions above don’t seem to be the same as the issues you’re having on your lawn, or if you have any other questions specific to your garden, please drop us an email, and we will be happy to help!

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