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Closeup of the center and partial petals of a deep yellow sunflower.

Sunscald: Those Brown Spots on Your Lawn

Are you seeing sections of your lawn where the grass has turned a light tan color and looks like straw?  Your lawn is suffering from sunscald
and localized acute drought stress.
 
In central and southern VT and NH, the weather of the last two weeks has caused this phenomenon. We had cool, seasonable temperatures without much rain and a few very hot days. The grass becomes stressed and the succulent blades get sun burned, shutting down and turning a straw color. Very predictable under these circumstances.
 
The good news however, is that the actual part of the plant down by the ground is still alive and will almost always recover.
 
To help restart the grass growing, concentrate on the largest hot spots which are the tan areas. Water if you can. If unable to water, these areas often recover, albeit slower, on their own. Any irrigation should be for about an hour a day, skip a day, and repeat. Do this for a week or two and the lawn will start growing again.
 
The ups and downs of dry, sunny weather, with a dash of heat creates these localized dry areas in your lawn.

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