When I had to choose a grass type to plant on my property, I knew that I needed to plant Bermuda grass. It is lush, drought, and heat tolerant, and it can handle traffic pretty well.
But this grass isn’t perfect, and when I saw dead spots in my Bermuda grass, I knew I had to fix it quickly.
But what caused these dead spots? And could I repair my grass lawn?
How to Repair Bermuda Grass
If the cause of having dead Bermuda grass patches is compacted soil, loosen it with a plug aerator. If brown patch disease’s the culprit, treat it with fungicide. If the grass’ turning brown, expose it to 4 hours of direct sunlight. If your Bermuda grass’ entering its dormant season, water it.
What Causes Dead Spots in Bermuda Grass
Back then, I didn’t know what I know today, so I didn’t think much of it at the time and just thought to water my lawn a little more since it was hot and at the peak of the growing season.
However, before I knew it, these spots had grown quite big, and I was left with ugly patches of dead grass.
To repair my Bermuda grass, I needed to find the cause, and there can be 4 of them:
Compacted soil can lead to dead patches of Bermuda grass.
When the soil is compacted, it doesn’t drain well, and when I just watered my grass more, thinking that will fix the brown circles, I actually just made the situation worse as the water pooled and suffocated the grass’ roots.
When the turf is waterlogged, the roots can’t access the nutrients and air they need.
Too much shade is another culprit, especially since Bermuda grass loves the sun. There are some varieties of Bermuda grass that can grow and thrive in more shade when compared to other varieties.
So, if you find brown, dead spots of grass, see if there is too much shade that trees or tall buildings may cause.
I’ve found that 4 hours of direct sunlight every day is ideal for Bermuda grass to grow optimally. If the grass gets a lot of shade, it doesn’t get enough of an opportunity to photosynthesize which helps it grow.
The peak growing season for Bermuda grass is from spring to fall, so when the weather gets cooler, the grass enters its dormant or resting season.
When my grass enters dormancy in fall, I see that the grass loses its color and it may look a bit dead, but when warmer temperatures arrive, so does the growing season and my grass becomes lush and green again.
However, one summer, my Bermuda grass went dormant because we suffered a long-lasting drought.
While this grass is quite drought-tolerant, if the dry conditions persist for long enough, Bermuda grass enters dormancy to try to protect itself to survive.
Brown Patch Disease
Lastly, as the name suggests, brown patch disease is a type of fungal infection that causes the Bermuda grass to develop dead spots.
There are also many other types of fungal diseases that can cause brown patches. Thus, it is best to test the grass to find out what kind of disease you are dealing with.
How to Repair and Treat the Dead Spots in Bermuda Grass
The solution to repairing your Bermuda grass depends on what caused the brown, dead spots.
Here are the 4 most common steps you can take:
Get a Fungicide to Treat a Fungal Disease
As I mentioned before, it is best to test your grass to find out exactly what kind of fungal disease you are dealing with.
To do this, I take a 4 x 4-inch square turf sample of both the infected and uninfected grass and ensure I get the whole root as part of the sample.
Once I’ve cut out my sample with a sanitized spade, I place them in an open paper bag and take it directly to my local extension for testing. If I can’t take the sample immediately, I keep it refrigerated until I can get it tested.
When I have received the results, I visit my garden store so I can find the correct antifungal pesticide to treat the fungal disease I’m dealing with.
While you can opt for a generic fungicide, testing and treating the specific disease is best.
I make sure to follow the directions on the fungicide label so I can get rid of the disease as soon as possible.
I haven’t yet had to deal with too much shade, but if your Bermuda grass receives insufficient direct sunlight, then you need to cut some of the foliage and branches of tall trees and bushes that block the sun.
Unfortunately, if you can’t reduce shade because of buildings or because you can’t remove the trees, then you will need to remove the Bermuda grass turf and find ground cover that can thrive in shade.
Loosen Compacted Soil
My soil was very compacted, and this led to my brown patch problem. The easiest fix here is to loosen the soil so it can be aerated to help the Bermuda grass roots get the air, nutrients, and water they need.
Loosening compacted soil has another benefit as it also helps the soil drain more effectively. This prevents root rot and root suffocation.
I used a plug aerator, or high-quality core aerator, to loosen my compacted soil, and soon, my Bermuda grass was green and lush again.
The one summer my grass entered dormancy during what was supposed to be the active growing season (because of a prolonged drought), I simply increased how often I watered to get the grass to enter its growing season again.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Repair Bermuda Grass Lawn
How do you fix Bermuda grass?
Fixing Bermuda grass would depend on what caused it to die or brown, dead spots to appear. It could be a fungal disease, prolonged drought, excessive shade, or compacted soil. The solutions to fix these issues would be to take a sample of the grass to treat it with the correct fungicide, to water more frequently, to get rid of what is causing too much shade, and to loosen the compacted soil.
Why is my Bermuda grass brown?
Bermuda grass should be a lush green in spring and summer when the grass is actively growing, so if it is brown during these months, then the soil may be waterlogged. Compacted soil starves the plant’s roots of the nutrients and oxygen for their growth.
The Final Word
It is quite easy to repair your Bermuda grass lawn once you know what is causing the dead patches to appear all over. The worst is if buildings are causing too much shade and you need to plant a new turf.
When you see small brown circles appearing, take swift action so you can fix your grass A.S.A.P.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.