Why Are There Dark Green Patches In My Lawn

You have invested lots of your time and resources on your lawn. As such, you shouldn’t overlook anything that seems awry with it because you can’t stand to see your investment going down the drain. Among the things you should be worried about concerning the health of your lawn is the presence of dark green patches. Is that what you are dealing with? Don’t worry; this article got you covered.

If you have a closer look at patches, you might notice that the affected grass there longer and fuller as compared to the rest of the lawn. Consequently, your yard has an uneven and not-so-alluring look.

In most cases, dark green spots in a garden occur as a result of unequal nitrogen distribution. That is, when some parts have more nitrogen than others. The additional nitrogen could be due to a fungal disease called fairy ring, dog pee, or uneven nitrogen fertilizer application.

Dog pee

dog squatting to pee on grass

If you have a dog and sometimes it spends time on your grass, at some point, it’ll need to urinate. But do you think it’ll bother not to contaminate the pasture? No way! It’ll do it right there. Any time!

 Naturally, animal urine is highly concentrated with nitrogen. So, a dog’s urine supplies more nitrogen to the soil. Considering that nitrogen is a crucial element of the chlorophyll molecule, the grass that is within the urine spot gets additional chlorophyll, thus more dark green as compared to the rest in the lawn.

A dog pees randomly, and so, the dark green grass patches resulting from the urine are mostly randomly distributed. If they are in a particular pattern, the cause could be something else.

Fairy rings

Fairly rings are most prevalent where a lawn has a lot of organic matter that hasn’t decomposed or a dense thatch layer. In case you don’t know, the majority of fungi feed the dead plants’ and dead animals’ remains because they can’t produce their own food.

Therefore, when you allow dead plants (grass) to accumulate to an extremely thick thatch on your lawn, the decaying remains encourages the growth and multiplication of the fungi present in the soil.

Also, if you removed a tree recently from the lawn, the dark green grass could be as a result of the fungi attracted by the decomposing roots of the tree.

In some cases, dead grass in your turf could be caused by a hard hydrophobic layer due to fungus in our lawn soil. This hinders proper water infiltration, and when your grass or plants fail to get enough water from the soil, they dry off.

Maybe you are now wondering what’s the connection between the fungi and the changing color of your grass. Well, this is what happens: as the fungi feed on the dead plants or roots, they break down the organic matter, and this process result in an increased production of nitrogen. When nitrogen production is high, the grass and the other crops present in the area become more dark green because of increased photosynthesis.

How To Fix The Issue

Whether the patches are as a result of dog’s pee, decaying plant matter, or uneven nitrogen fertilizer application, they will eventually go away when the plant cover consumes the excess nitrogen. However, that might take a relatively long time, and you’d want to see your lawn even again sooner rather than later. You can do the following to sort out the problem faster:

How to fix the issue

If the patches are a result of fungi, you should establish the factors contributing to the problem. In case there are mushrooms, most likely decomposing wood or tree/grassroots are to blame. As for rotting wood, remove it as well as the soil located within a radius of two inches from the wood.

If the dark green spots are in the form of a circle and you can’t see any decaying wood within them, then there’s a high possibility that your turf is the problem. In such a case, you should remove the dead grass and two inches of the nearby soil. For evenness, replace the dead grass with clean one if necessary.

 Excessive moisture could be the reason for the fungal infestation in your turf. So, if the lawn is too damp, you should consider reducing watering if you irrigate.

Apply corn gluten meal

corn gluten meal

Corn gluten meal is a super-effective fungi neutralizer. After removing the dead matter, you can apply it the affected areas. Approximately 15 pounds of it will be enough for a 1000-square feet area. Having done that, water the meal in for it to penetrate deep into the soil and deal with the fungi down there.

The product contains fungus which acts like fungicide, attacking the cell walls of the fairy ring responsible for the fungus and the odd patches in your lawn. With the proper application of corn gluten meal, you should see an improvement in the appearance of your grass within a relatively short time.

Use fungicide

Fungicide with azoxystrobin is a good alternative to corn gluten meal and you can get it in granule or liquid form. It’s an effective remedy for fairly rings. However, you have to follow the prescribed application directions for your chosen type of herbicide to the letter to get the desired results and protect your grass from damages that might arise from incorrect application.

Also, make sure that your lawn is clean before applying the herbicide. Once you are done, water the area to which the antifungal chemical was applied with at least 0.5 inches or water. Wait for 14 to 18 days and apply the herbicide again to deal with fairy rings thoroughly.

Fertilize the rest of the lawn

spreading nitrogen fertilizer on soil

​We’ve already seen that the presence of dark green patches on your yard is an indication that some areas have more nitrogen concentration than others.

So, whether dog’s urine, uneven fertilizer application or dead plant materials is the cause, you can restore the evenness of your garden by making the not-so-green areas as green as the darker patches by applying more nitrogen to them as well.

The best way to even out nitrogen in the lawn is through nitrogen fertilizer application. Apply nitrogen fertilizer to the lighter parts of the lawn.

The increased nitrogen supply will make the light green grass to become darker due to increased chlorophyll resulting from the additional nitrogen.

You can consult your local lawn specialists to establish the exact type and amount of nitrogen fertilizer you need to apply. Three to four applications evenly distributed throughout a season will most likely be enough to bring the desired color uniformity in your lawn.

How To Prevent Unwanted Patches On Your Lawn

Having succeeded in restoring the even greenness in your lawn, it’s essential to ensure that you have put proper measures into place to avert possible recurrence of the problem. Protection is always better than cure, isn’t it? Here are some helpful tips you can apply to maintain an evenly green lawn all the time:

Regular and comprehensive raking

Always ensure that your lawn is free from debris such as grass clippings and dead plants by raking as soon as you trim the yard and doing so comprehensively.

Preferably, use a dethatching rake to remove all the debris build-up. Otherwise, if the debris thatch starts decomposing, they will l bring another fungal infestation, leading to more nitrogen supply at selected areas.

Eventually, you’ll find yourself dealing with the same problem once again. So, it’s crucial to maintain a clean lawn all the time by raking using a dethatching rake.

Regular and moderate watering

Considering that water clogging makes some of your grass to die, decompose and lead to fairly rings, regular and moderate watering of your lawn will go a long way to keeping it attractive and evenly green. If the rain water is sufficient, do away with watering until the drier season sets in.

Even fertilizer application

Next time you are applying nitrogen fertilizer to your beautiful and uniform lawn, do it evenly. This will prevent some parts of the garden from being greener than others due to uneven nitrogen distribution.

Restrain your pet

Prevent your dog from gaining access to your garden to keep its urine off the lawn.  Alternatively, and if possible, you can train it to pee at a designated place outside the garden when it is outdoors.

Conclusion: Why Are There Dark Green Patches In My Lawn

 Hopefully, you now know why there are dark green patches on your lawn and how to deal with the problem comprehensively. Implement the above tips, and certainly, you’ll see a remarkable positive difference in your garden soon.