Why is Your Lawn Brown?

why is your lawn brown

With the crazy spring weather, we have seen a huge increase in brown lawns all around Bozeman and Livingston, MT. There are two main circumstances to attribute this to: drought and lawn fungal disease.


drought stress lawn montana    irrigation problem lawns montana

How is drought possible with the rain we got?!

Yes, even with the rain we received, your lawn still needed much more water. You probably noticed that as soon as temperatures warmed up, your lawn started to get a slight yellow tinge if you hadn’t turned on your sprinklers yet.

With good soil, cool season grasses need one and a half inches of water per week to maintain a healthy profile. The rain was giving it a half inch at best.

What can you do if your lawn looks like this?

  1. Turn your sprinklers on!
  2. Set your mower blades at max height. This will help shade your soil to retain water.
  3. Be patient, if your lawn has already gone dormant and it may take up to a month to recover.


lawn fungus montana melting out - leaf spot

What is this?

Leaf Spot occurs when there is a rapid change in temperature and/or moisture in the lawn. In a weeks time the disease can overtake even the healthiest lawn in the neighborhood.

Your lawn can start to appear burnt or “melting out” as the fungal spores spread through the grass blades. Mowers help spread spores around which creates the pattern you see in the top photo. This is why you will sometimes see it stop right at property lines. The good news is once temperatures cool down lawns can usually recover on their own.

What can you do if your lawn looks like this?

  1. Continue to water, fertilize, and mow at 4″ height
  2. Using a fungicide every 14 days will help the recovery time, focus on the affected and surrounding areas. We recommend using something with the active ingredient Propiconazol like this product: Fungus Control For Lawns
  3. Be patient, fungicides will help but you won’t see real results until temperatures start to cool again.

If you’re not sure whether you are experiencing leaf spot or drought, please text us a photo and we’re happy to help diagnose it! 406-222-1152

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