Why Does My Grass Look Burnt

burned grass

If you have ever had a yard there is no doubt you have experienced brown spots or grass that looks burnt. They contrast starkly with the healthy green of the grass and draw attention.

Sometimes they seem to grow in size or spread. Having brown spots appear on an otherwise lush, green lawn can be stressful. It’s important to identify why the brown spots are appearing before attempting to fix the problem.

In this article, we will cover some of the most common reasons why your grass looks burnt like drought and mowing while also mentioning a few solutions.

If you’ve gone through the possible solutions listed in this article and still need help, hiring a professional lawn service may be the solution for you.  


One of the main reasons why the grass looks burnt is mainly the scorching sun. A lawn or landscape is a complex ecosystem of plants, insects and wildlife. That ecosystem can be surprisingly delicate when faced with the intense summer sun.

Scorching or sun-burnt spots most frequently occur during the summer months when temperatures consistently rise to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and above.

It puts stress on the grass which leads to the sun-burnt spots and could eventually cause the whole lawn to be scorched. One of the primary ways to help prevent or restore sun-burnt patches on the lawn is to water it extensively early in the morning.

In addition, it’s best to avoid cold weather grasses as these will be more affected by the heat of summer days.

Finally, it’s important to use the best mowing practices of never cutting more than ⅓ of a blade of grass at a time and making sure the mower blades are sharp.


Drought, a lack of rain or water for an extended period of time, can also turn an entire lawn brown. Since drought is a widespread weather phenomenon it can be easier to determine that it’s the cause of your lawn turning brown.

However, it also presents the problem of possible water restrictions. If there are water restrictions in place you might simply have to wait for the drought to end.

If there are no water restrictions then your lawn needs extra water in the mornings and evenings. The extra water will help lessen the stress on the lawn and also help the roots retain moisture throughout the day.


A healthy and robust lawn takes a lot of nutrients to sustain. This occurs naturally through the decay and breakdown of leaves and branches as well as a variety of other things.

However, many people also supplement by fertilizing their lawns. Fertilizer contains necessary nutrients, including salt, for plant growth.

However, if salt or some of the other nutrients are too concentrated they will kill the lawn and leave brown patches.

If too much fertilizer ends up in one place on the lawn it can be scooped up again and distributed or it can be sprayed with water to help dilute it. Having a lawn care company spread the fertilizer could also help prevent the issue.

Excess Weed Control

Weeds are prolific growers and are prevalent in lawns if not properly taken care of. A common way to get rid of weeds is to spray them with an herbicide.

There are selective herbicides that target only the weeds, but there are also non-selective herbicides that will destroy the weeds and grass.

Sometimes excessive non-selective herbicides are sprayed on the lawn and then brown spots appear where the grass is dying.

The best way to prevent spraying too much weed controller is to have lawn experts come and do it for you.

If you are doing it yourself, make sure to read the instructions and follow them carefully. Every weed controller has its own special instructions and proper ways to use the chemicals. We recommend going with a professional weed control service over DIY for this exact reason.


Mowing a lawn is an important part of taking care of it. However, it is one of the common causes of brown spots.

A frequent issue is mowing more than ⅓ of a blade at a time thereby causing extra strain on the grass and exposing it to more heat during the summer.

A second problem is mowing with blades that are not sharp enough which shreds the grass rather than creating a clean cut. Since mowing is such a critical part of lawn maintenance it’s necessary to make sure it’s done correctly.

Lawn Treatments

Lawns are a wonderful ecosystem that is vulnerable to weather and poor maintenance just like all other plants.

Many of the more common problems are fairly easy to prevent. And, if necessary, they can be fixed as well.

The experts at Gecko Green are a valuable resource to use in identifying the specific lawn problems you are having and they are capable of helping to solve them.

Call for a free quote today!