Causes of Patchy Grass: Solutions for a Receding Lawn


Like a bedroom, kitchen, or lounge, your yard is a part of your living space that needs regular care. A healthy and presentable lawn is the determinant factor of how well-kept your yard is. However, no one wants a patchy look on their yards that will impair the quality of the lawn. No matter how bad and patchy your grass looks, it’s not impossible to fix a receding lawn.

If you are constantly questioning “Why is my lawn so patchy?” We present the causes and solutions that will help you understand the underlying effects and the steps to turn your patchy grass into its healthy and full potential form. Especially during summer days, several factors may cause brown spots on your lawn. One of the leading factors that cause patchy lawn problems is nutrient deficiency and exposure to heat and sun.

Besides, watering, little watering, foot traffic, over-fertilization, or even birds are other reasons for lack of germination. However, there is no quick and effortless way to turn your lawn from patchy and bold to nice and green as it takes time and requires good maintenance to build your new healthy grass. 

Underlying Causes of Patchy Grass

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A patchy lawn probably is a nightmare for lawn owners. They might be asking themselves “why is my lawn so patchy?” when they see the perfect lawns of their neighbors. Probably most people who have yards might have faced the problem of the patchy and receding lawn as it is inevitable, especially on summer days when you don’t pay much attention.

However, over-exposure to sun or heat is not the only factor that turns your green grass into yellow and bald. There are several reasons that damage the health of the lawn. Here are the most prominent and main causes of patchy grass:

Pet Urine

There is nothing more entertaining than spending time with your pet friends in your backyard. However, it could be a reason for the patchy lawn. Your lawn is the place where the pets most run and play. As they feel free on the lawn, you can find dog urine which contains a great amount of nitrogen, on certain spots of your yard. Nitrogen is an element that could harm the natural process of your lawn.


During periods of exposure to extra sunlight or heat, some areas of your lawn that get more sunlight might turn yellow from green or even disappear as the grass loses water. However, you could see the difference in some areas that get more water and are more green and healthy. On the other hand, too much shade will make your grass patchy and thinner than it should be.

Foot Traffic

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You may be organizing some events in your yard, or your kids and pets may constantly be playing in your yard. Even though these great yard activities are entertaining, they are one of the reasons that affect the vegetation period of your grass. Besides, some equipment that stays too long in one place could turn that section bald.

Over Watering or Less Watering

Some lawn owners might think that the lawn takes enough water when it rains, but this is one of the mistakes resulting in your lawn becoming patchy. Even if it rains, you should water the lawn twice a day. However, you shouldn’t overwater your lawn as more than three watering will interfere with the growth of the grass. So, you should balance the watering in order to have well-growing grass.

Solutions for Disappearing Grass

By knowing the causes of patchy grass, you can fix the lawn with the solutions. There is some practical advice and steps you should follow. However, you should first diagnose the problems on your patchy lawn through which you can come up with a good solution. Each section of your receding lawn could have its problem, so you need to identify them. First, you should check if the grass is growing evenly.

Reserve a spot in your garden to mix different solutions. If you accidentally spill chemicals, rinse the area carefully and with plenty of water. Remove the grass and sow seeds to fill the bald area if the grass is completely deteriorated. Patterns also will show you the isolated, patchy incidences. Consequently, a uniform fix is not going to help you. To bring your receding lawn to its full potential, you need to start with a stream and a mode to take the grass down to a certain level and meet it up.

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Afterward, scarify the grass using a hand rake to get all the dirt and dead grass up. Chuck some topsoil down and level it out to compact that topsoil. You need to make sure the grass is even, and you should chuck some seeds down and protect the seeds with some more topsoil. Finally, you should give it good water.

Aftercare will be more important if you want to reach a good solution. You should water your receding lawn at once in the morning and once in the afternoon for five to ten minutes, which will help seeds germinate. Even if it rains, the lawn might not get enough water, you still have to water it. 

How Long for Patchy Grass to Renew

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No matter how bad your grass looks, it is not impossible to fix it, but it requires good care and time. Depending on your lawn situation, the time of the recovery may change. If the grass is dead and patchy, it might need professional help, but if certain sections require regeneration, it might take at least three or four weeks to renew the brown spots off of your receding lawn.

To grow your new healthy lawn there are three steps you should follow. Considering you are diligent and patient, the lawn will be better and take less time than you expect. However, the recovery time mostly depends on your motivation and effort to bring back the full potential of your receding lawn.   


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By all counts, we know why the lawn becomes patchy and how we can recover it to its healthy and green form. If the grass is in soil that is deficient in minerals or vitamins, yellowing or drying can be observed. It can dry out if the lawn is under-watered, over-watered, or watered poorly. Re-greening the patchy lawn is a topic that garden owners are very curious about.

In fact, grasses are durable and do not easily face situations such as yellowing or fading, as they are plant species frequently seen in nature. However, fading and yellowing may occur due to improper care, mowing, and overexposure to the sun. In such cases, it is recommended to water the receding lawn in the early morning and evening hours to revitalize the dried grass.

Besides, diseases are some causes of patchy grass. The disease can be transmitted from other plants as well as from itself. In this regard, it is necessary to take care of the soil and the grass and make the necessary treatment. Carefully follow all the maintenance steps to create a bright, sweet, and well-maintained lawn. If you can find the answer to your question, “why is my lawn so patchy?”, take the right measures to restore the receding lawn.

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