If your lawn is brown, don’t assume it is merely drought damage or continued drought given the dry weather pattern in NH. Many lawns are being eaten right now by white grubs of all kinds. White grubs are in bountiful numbers given the past dry, hot weather in NH & VT. Unfortunately, many homeowners and commercial locations are not aware of this damage which will continue well into early November. Many landscapers do not have the education or proper state certification and licensing to diagnose and treat complex lawn problems. Left unchecked, grub damage can destroy sections if not entire lawn areas within weeks to months if left untreated. The news gets worse! These grubs will hide and wait until next spring, then the feeding will start again! Many brown turf areas can be infested with grubs because many will assume the area was caused by drought and high heat. While this may be true for some, other lawns will continue the downward spiral without appropriate action this fall or at best next spring.
Look for animals digging like crows, ravens, or skunks at night. The turf will be easily uprooted since the root system is being attacked and cannot grow fast enough to anchor the grass to the surface. Focus on sunny areas, along driveways or walkways. Hot, or sunny areas are prime locations for beetles to lay their eggs for the next generation. Your grass may be brown mixed in with green but when exposed, the trained eye can find grubs of varying sizes and types. There are many products which can be used to control grubs including chemicals and nematodes. Each claims success under various conditions and instructions to the home owner. Don’t assume that picking up a bag at Lowes or the Home Depot will insure results. Unfortunately, there are many products aimed at specific periods in the life cycle of grubs so a bag of ”Grub X or Milky Spore” applied in the fall does not mean it will work. You must read the label or call a professional to determine if your $30 investment will actually work or just make you feel good. If in doubt ask- don’t simply apply materials to your lawn without understanding the ramifications, that would not be environmentally responsible. While grass is important, what you do to the environment is more important. This is why professionals like myself must train, take written plus verbal exams by state agencies, and work in the field to gain “real world” experience.
Don’t let brown areas go unchecked, go call or e-mail a reputable lawn care company like mine. Speak with a local professional with appropriate licensing and experience to give you the real answer. Your lawn need not be damaged with proper information to back up appropriate action!