Why does part of your lawn turn brown while part of it is still green?

As we head into winter, lawns are starting to turn brown and patchy. This is due to the presence of warm and cool season grasses together in the lawn. Warm-season annuals, such as crabgrass and foxtails, died early this fall, leaving brown areas. Perennial warm-season grasses, such as nimblewill and zoysiagrass, are now light tan because they have gone dormant with cooler temperatures. Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, usually stay green until very late in fall or even early winter, depending on the weather conditions.

You may also notice areas within a lawn will vary in color due to microclimate factors. A sheltered area may be greener than an exposed portion, even if the same grasses are found in each. Areas with more available moisture may also appear greener in color.

So, should you fertilize your lawn? If you do it right now before the ground freezes, fertilizer will still have a beneficial effect on your lawn.

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