wet brown grass

Why is my Grass Turning Brown After Lots of Rain?

In Lawn & Garden by Jamie

If your grass is turning brown after lots of rain you need to figure out the reason why, and the quicker the better, right? We all want that beautiful green yard that all the neighbors love talking about, so let’s get into it.

The main reason why your grass is turning brown after lots of rain is that the grass is overwatered, meaning it is prone to have a shorter root system. This means your grass is almost defenseless against weeds, disease, and insects. Resulting in brown spots in your lawn.

It is important to realize that your grass could be brown because of many different reasons. You shouldn’t rule out the possibilities right away, because if you do, you could potentially be missing the real underlying issue you are having with your grass.

Reasons why my grass is brown?

  • Overwatering issues
  • Heat/Drought
  • Common weeds stealing nutrients
  • Grubs
  • Insects
  • Lawn disease
  • Animal waste
  • Uneven watering
  • and more possibilities!

Can too much rain kill grass?

Yes, too much rain can kill grass. Just like you, grass needs to breathe, it needs oxygen for growth, and collecting too much water is actually drowning your grass.

Problems with an overwatered lawn?

When your lawn is overwatered you can run into several different issues, but overall the main problem is that your grass is drowning. With to much water, it’s killing your grass and that is a common answer to why many people see brown not long after rainfalls.

Another problem is rotting grass and fungal issues. Having heavy rains you might notice grass clumping together or just sogging up. This can cause serious fungal diseases in your lawn. The grass will break down when bunched together, but in the right temperatures and correct moisture, you could easily see rot turn into fungal lawn diseases. This is a huge possibility if you have various brown spots on your lawn. If you arent sure about the type of disease check out Scotts Lawn Disease Identifying Article.

Rain creates a soggy and muddy lawn, which quickly can cause land deformation and damages. Once you step on a soggy lawn you will notice your foot sink a little bit deeper than normal. One step might not seem like a big deal, however, walking all over a wet lawn can really damage its potential growth. Higher traffic levels on grass reduce its overall health, especially on a rainy day.

Also, with a lot of water, you might have flooding problems that completely mess up your lawn. The soil might move around and issues will arise quickly.

Weeds… you might notice a rapid growth in weeds throughout your lawn. Overwatering is known to cause excessive weed growth, different weeds bloom because of the extra moisture. While these weeds start picking up in growth, your grass is slowly dying, making the weeds spread faster and faster. It is important to get on top of these weeds fast, get out the weed killers!

Sometimes homeowners, beginners or not, are not aware of how much they should water their lawn. Keep in mind rain does a great job, so when it rains all-day there is no need to turn on the sprinklers in the evening. Furthermore, on average you only need to water your lawn 3 times per week. Take in considerations of new sods, and other elements such as the location that can drastically change that number… but anyways 3 times a week for about 20-30 minutes at a time. Let the rain do its natural watering and we help out when needed. Oh yeah, do NOT leave your sprinklers on overnight, that’s how you waterlog your lawn! Plus it’s just a waste of water that you might have to pay for.

Grassroots, when drowned, become weak and damaged. This results in improper growth and you might need some fixing to get things back to normal. There are proper steps to take if you are interested we have an article all about waterlogged soil and how to fix it, check it out by clicking here! You can learn a bit about how waterlogged lawns have lost lots of nutrients and ways to fix it.

lady bug on grass that is wet

Insects and Bugs Might be Damaging Your Lawn

When the grass is damaged and possibly diseased, the odds of having insects and bug problems arise. To test if you have insects eating away in the soil you can grab a shovel and check it out. Not all bugs are bad, sometimes they are helping but you should be aware of the bad. Some bad bugs are bright-colored beetles, snails, mosquitos, ants, ticks, chiggers, Japanese beetle, can all spread disease quickly. Ants could be causing damage but you don’t need to be too concerned, just be aware of the possibilities.


How to save overwatered grass?

When it comes to overwatered grass there are a few things you can try yourself, but I do recommend an expert’s opinion if you don’t really have a true diagnostics.

It is important that if your grass is overwatered you need to react as soon as possible. Start by trying to understand how your lawn might be overwatered. How much rain do you get? How often do I water? Are the automatic sprinklers set for too long?

Anyways, after determining how and how much water your lawn receives, reduce its dosage. Of course, you can’t stop the rain but you can go ahead and reduce sprinkler time!

If you realize you were overwatering you can try reducing to a healthy amount and waiting to see if any good changes happen. If not, let’s look into some ways to save your brown grass.

I recommend starting from the bottom. First, you need to aerate the soil, use machines or just grab a garden fork to poke some holes throughout the lawn. Of course, depending on lawn size you might want to rent the proper machine at a local store.

De-thatching is a good idea too. I know my lawn had so much grass that was just sitting dead so I used a garden rake to clean up. De-thatching tools such as the Greenworks 14-Inch 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher, is a great pick if you have a large lawn that needs total clean up. It is also perfect to help aerate the soil! De-thatching is simply to break up the base layer in your grass, sometimes it becomes so thick that air and water have trouble getting through. This causes fungi and bugs to creep up on you fast…

If fixing up your watering schedule you still have brown spots and yellow spots, you should spray insecticides and fungicides. After you dethatched these products will react faster and do their job because they can reach the home base of the underlying issues.

After everything you have done, adding fertilizer might be another tip that could help your lawn. Since your lawn might be limited in nutrients finding a good nitrogen-rich fertilizer could help the overall soil health. This can result in better grassroots, making grass grow faster and greener!

A quick recap on what to do?

  1. Determine Watering Amount
  2. Reduce if overwatered
  3. Aerate the soil (use aerator machine or manually aerate)
  4. De-thatch lawn
  5. Spray infected brown grass areas
  6. Fertilize if needed (nitrogen-rich)

Other Tips on how to prevent your grass from turning brown?

Like I have said before, grass can go brown for so many reasons but figuring out why can be difficult. It takes some time and research to figure it out, but once you know you have proper steps to take. Here are some other ways to prevent your grass from turning brown:

  • Do a soil test to determine exactly what your lawn needs
  • Proper fertilization in fall and spring
  • Seeding with Aeration
  • Change how you mow your lawn, how often, the mower height?
  • Rake dead grass
  • Prevent traffic on grass

Sometimes your grass might look yellow and it could be dying, I go over a number of potential reasons your grass is changing color in the article “Why is my Grass Turning Yellow and Dying?”. There are many tips in that article that could answer your questions about dead look grass, click the link to check it out.

Quick fixes for grass turning brown?

If you really can’t fix your brown patches and need a quick and fast fix, there are still a few things you can do:

  • Remove dead spots and replace with sods
  • Paint and spray grass green
  • Remove lawn and replace with artificial turf
  • Remove lawn and replace with patio or deck
  • Replace area with something else, many possible ideas!

Final Thoughts

Grass turning brown after lots of rain is an issue many people have, but the issue is difficult to determine. Because it is happening after rain the first idea that comes to mind would be overwatering and the lawn drowning in water.

The issues that an overwatered lawn can have is high in numbers, but breaking it down into this guide should help fix it fast. Taking proper steps mentioned in this article you can have your lawn back in no time.

Before owning a home you never really think about the difficulties related to lawn care and how hard grass is to maintain. Proper care is essential and if you are interested in learning more tips and tricks don’t forget to subscribe to our website for tips, tricks, and backyard fun!