Brown Tracks in Lawn – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Brown Tracks in Lawn

I’ve seen lawns and heard this week about brown streaks that are about the width of the mower (photo). In the vast majority of the cases, these tracks are caused by the weight of a mower traversing across a portion of the lawn that was drought-stressed. Drought stress may not have been easily visible before mowing. Turf likely was at the drought stressed stage where footprints (or mower tracks) remain in the turf and don’t snap back like well-watered turf, or may have been entering the stage where it turns a bluish-gray color. Severity of the damage depends on the stage of drought stress and weight of the mower (the newer zero-turn radius mowers that are now so popular are almost much heavier than the walk-behind models). With rain and irrigation, the turf in these tracks should grow back in the next couple of weeks. If we experience prolonged drought stress for the next few weeks, these tracks may not grow back until September.

 

 


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