Why Does My Grass Look Discolored?

I have had a couple people call this week and ask me about why their lawn has purple tips, seems to have yellowing, or is discolored this past week, so I thought it would be a great topic for this newsletter. There are a few different likely causes, based on the color and size of the discolored area in your lawn, that could be creating the concern. Some are harmless and others need immediate attention. Read on to learn how to identify what’s going on in your Gainesville lawn.

Purple Tips

If you have St. Augustine grass in your lawn you might be surprised to see the tips of blades turning dark purple. This purple color is the lawn's natural reaction to cold weather stress, and is most prominent in Classic and Bitterblue St. Augustine varieties common in Haile Plantation and other Gainesville communities. This is common in our climate for this time of year and 99% of the time your lawn will bounce right back when warm weather returns. When spring comes around you should see fresh green growth replacing any discolored blades of grass. If this is your issue, we recommend fertilizing your lawn as temperatures rise to ensure healthy growth this upcoming season.

Yellow Patches

One of the common causes of discoloration this time of year is brown patch fungus which causes patches or rings of tan, yellow or brown grass. These spots tend to spread and are almost always indicate a fungal problem. You may notice spots on the grass blades or that the blades will uniformly lose color. Whichever type of fungus you discover, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent the fungus from spreading over large areas of your landscape. Whether you want to treat it yourself or hire us, I recommend that you act very quickly to get this under control. I recommend an immediate fungicide application with a minimum of 2 re-treatments to ensure that the disease is under control. You’ll also want to reduce irrigation schedules and ensure that you are watering later in the morning so the water can evaporate quickly.

Yellow / Brown Tint Across Entire Lawn

Does your lawn have a brown tinge across the whole yard? For Zoysia and Centipede lawns, the cold weather causes the grass to turn completely dormant and almost look partially dead during the winter. Do not be afraid, as these lawns will bounce back to lush green lawns in spring with proper feeding and treatment. If your St. Augustine lawn resembles the photo above, you may be able to help it with a mixture of liquid iron and slow-release fertilizer for a quick rejuvenation in spring.

For more information don't forget to read our article about the 3 Fundamental Needs of a Healthy Lawn.

If you’re still not sure what the issue is in your Gainesville lawn, we would be happy to provide a complimentary analysis. Email me a picture of your problem spots at rusty@themasterslawncare.com to get started. And of course, if you want to avoid going the DIY route, our lawn care program offers the peace of mind of knowing that the health of your lawn is in our hands. We offer complimentary soil analysis to all of our lawn care clients and as many service calls as needed to ensure you're complete satisfaction with your yard.

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