Bare Spot Causes

Too often it’s asked what caused a certain bare spot in a lawn. The possibilities are endless so let this serve as a checklist for you. Only you know the recent history of your lawn best.

  1. Improper Watering: Both overwatering and underwatering can stress Bermuda grass, leading to weakened areas that eventually turn into bare spots.
  2. Heavy Foot Traffic: Constant walking or playing on areas of the lawn can compact the soil and wear down the grass, resulting in bare patches.
  3. Shade: Bermuda grass requires a lot of sunlight. If parts of your lawn are shaded for most of the day, this can inhibit growth and lead to bare patches.
  4. Disease: Fungal diseases such as Spring Dead Spot or Dollar Spot can cause circular bare patches. Brown Patch disease can also create large bare areas in humid conditions.
  5. Insect Damage: Pests like grubs, armyworms, or chinch bugs can damage the roots or eat the grass blades, leading to bare spots.
  6. Chemical Burn: Incorrect application of fertilizers or herbicides can burn the grass, causing it to die off and leave bare patches.
  7. Soil Compaction: Compacted soil restricts root growth and reduces air, water, and nutrient uptake, resulting in weakened or dead grass. Conduct a screwdriver test by attempting to insert a screwdriver into the soil; difficulty in doing so indicates compaction.
  8. Weed Competition: Weeds can outcompete Bermuda grass for nutrients, water, and light, especially if the lawn is not well-maintained, leading to bare spots.
  9. Dog Urine: Spots of lawn frequently used as a restroom by pets can get damaged due to the high nitrogen content in the urine, which burns the grass.
  10. Heat from Nearby Structures: Heat radiating from sidewalks, driveways, or brick walls can increase soil temperature, potentially stressing and damaging the grass, leading to bare patches.
  11. Runoff from Chemicals: Chemicals used for cleaning driveways or walls can run off into the lawn, potentially harming the grass and causing bare spots if these substances contain harmful components.

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