You’ve been diligently watering your lawn, keeping pets off it, and you haven’t noticed any pests. 

Yet, there it is – brown grass staring back at you.

If you’ve ruled out overwatering, pet urine, and pests, then the likely culprit is a disease.

Don’t panic! The good news is that your grass isn’t terminally ill. 

Here’s why your lawn is turning brown and how to fix it before calling us (or any lawn care service… but we’re kinda the bee’s knees in Tampa)

Why is My Grass Dying Even Though I Water It?

man watering dead lawn asking himself, "Why is my grass dying even though I water it?"

The number one reason for brown grass is drought or underwatering. But if you’ve been watering your grass and it’s still dying, there are 3 main reasons.

So, let’s start by using your detective skills to find the culprit behind this sad, brown grass. 

1. Your Pets are the Problem

Who are we kidding? Pets are never a problem.

But! High nitrogen content in pet urine can burn the grass, causing brown or yellow spots.

And we want to give them the greenest, freshest grass for their little paws!

Signs It’s Your Furry Friend’s Fault:

  1. Spotty: Pet urine typically causes small, distinct brown grass surrounded by a ring of darker green grass.
  2. Habitual: For a few days, pay attention to where your pet likes to relieve itself. If it keeps going to that brown patch, it’s Suspect #1. Good work, detective.
  3. Irregular: Urine spots are usually irregular but can become more circular over time. Their size can vary depending on the amount of urine and the pet’s size.

How To Fix It:

  • Water the spot immediately after they relieve themselves (ideally, every time. Fun, we know).
  • Get yourself a lawn spot fertilizer specifically for pet urine (we like this one from Total Biome because it’s organic, so that it won’t harm your fur baby! This one from Lowe’s is also great).

2. Your Mowing Game is Weak

Okay, it’s not entirely your fault.

But if your blades are dull or you’re mowing your lawn too short (scalping), it can damage the grass. This makes it more susceptible to stress and disease.


  • Grass blades appear frayed or torn
  • Lawn looks uneven 
  • Your grass browns shortly after mowing.

How To Fix It:

  • Keep mower blades sharp. Here’s how.
  • Set your mower to the correct height for your grass type. Generally, you should only cut the top third of the grass blade.

3. It’s a Full-Blown Lawn Disease

If your whole lawn has taken on a depressing brown hue, it’s usually a sign of a widespread issue. 

The most common reasons are fungal diseases like:

  • Brown patch
  • Dollar spot, or 
  • Rust

Here’s what each one looks like.

These diseases thrive in Florida’s hot, humid conditions and can spread over your entire lawn in just a few weeks! 

How To Fix It

Get a lawn care quote from us!

3 Other Reasons Your Grass is Turning Brown

root rot

Alright, so you don’t have pets, your mowing game could put us outta business, and you tried treating for fungus and still no luck. 

At this point, you might want to call us so you don’t waste any more time.

Or your lawn could be turning brown for one of these 3 reasons:

1. You’ve Got Bugs

Pests hide in trees, bushes, and especially under your grass. The most common bugs that will eat up your lawn are chinchbugs, worms, and grubs

Signs You’ve Got the Bug(s):

  1. Grubs: Irregular brown patches that are easy to lift might reveal grubs underneath. Birds and other animals digging in the lawn can also indicate a grub infestation.
  2. Chinch Bugs: Patches of yellow or brown grass, often starting in sunny areas and spreading. If you part the grass and see small black and white bugs, you likely have chinch bugs.
  3. Sod Webworms: Small brown patches, chewed grass blades, and silk tunnels at the base of the grass. Moths flying around the lawn in the evening can also indicate their presence.

How to Fix It:

  • Consider aerating your lawn first
  • Mow and dethatch
  • Apply a pesticide. 
  • Keep up your watering routine.

RELATED: What is Lawn Spraying and Do You Need It In Florida?

2. You’re Over or Underwatering Your Grass

In Florida, your grass needs as much water as you do on a hot summer day. 

Without it, it’s going to get dehydrated and, well, die. 

Here’s how long you should be watering your grass.

Remember that overwatering grass is just as big of a suspect for brown grass as underwatering. 

Floridians tend to overwater in the summer by not adjusting their sprinkler system to work with Florida’s (admittedly unpredictable) rain. 

How To Fix It:

RELATED: Top 7 Florida Lawn Care Tips for Homeowners

3. You Need an Updated Lawn Care Routine

Whether it’s your infrequent watering schedule, pets, fungus, or pests, a lawn care routine will keep all of these annoying problems at bay.

Just like you tell a teenager to wash their face daily to prevent acne, you have to do the same to ward off your lawn’s hypothetical pimples (in this case, brown grass).

We don’t want to brag, but we’ve kinda perfected the ultimate lawn care routine 

How To Turn Brown Grass Back To Green in 4 Steps

Let’s talk about turning your sad, brown grass back to lush green. 

  1. First things first, aerate your lawn. You should do this once a year, anyway, because it allows your lawn to breathe and absorb nutrients better.
  2. Get your lawn on a consistent watering schedule. Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth. This will help if your pets cause your brown lawn.
  3. Next, ensure your mower blades are sharp and set to the correct height. You want to cut at most one-third of the grass blade at a time.
  4. Consider applying a fungicide if you suspect a fungal disease. We recommend neem oil to start.

Keeping your lawn green isn’t so easy. Call us to do the dirty work for you!