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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Turf > Brown grass next to pavement or walkways

Turf > Brown grass next to pavement or walkways

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  • Image: salt damage 1
    Credit: Bob Mugaas
  • Image: salt damage 2

    Credit: Bob Mugaas

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green arrowDe-icing salt injury

  • Occurs following winter snow melt
  • Long strips to irregularly shaped areas of dead grass often adjacent to paved driveways, sidewalks, street curbs, etc., where de-icing salts were applied
  • Color or dead grass typically is light tan to straw-colored, later turning dark brown
  • Usually a distinct boundary between affected and health plants
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  • Image: ice damage
    Credit: Bob Mugaas
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green arrowDamage related to ice cover

  • Occurs where spring snow melt water cannot freely drain from an area due to blockage along edges of curbs, driveways, or sidewalks
  • Occurs in open areas of the lawn where water goes through frequent freezing and thawing cycles during the snow melting process
  • Long strips to irregularly shaped areas of dead grass
  • Color of dead grass typically is light tan to straw-colored, later turning dark brown
  • Usually a distinct boundary between affected and healthy plants
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  • Image: drought 1
    Credit: Bob Mugaas
  • Image: drought 2

    Credit: Bob Mugaas

  • Image: drought 3

    Credit: Bob Mugaas

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green arrowHeat and drought stress

  • Occurs when temperatures are high (greater than 85° F) and little or no moisture is available through rain or irrigation for at least 2 to 3 weeks
  • General browning of entire turf grass area; may also look thin and dry
  • Affected areas may have clumps or tufts of green grass within areas of tan dry grass
  • Occurs often in sunny, exposed lawn areas but can occur in dry, shady areas as well
  • In most cases, cool season grasses will turn green and resume growth once cooler conditions and more frequent rainfall return
  • If heat and drought stress have been severe for several weeks, affected lawn areas may not recover or may only partially recover
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  • Image: billbug 1
    Credit: Bob Mugaas
  • Image: billbug 2

    Credit: Unknown

  • Image: billbug 3

    Credit: Jeff Hahn

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green arrowBluegrass Billbug

  • Damage most commonly seen during July and August
  • Damaged areas yellow, then turning brown or straw-colored in small, irregular patches
  • Particularly common near sidewalks, driveways, and other sources of heat
  • 1/4 inch long, gray to black beetle with long, curved snout, active spring and late summer
  • More information on Bluegrass Billbug...

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