Why Does Bermuda Grass Turn Brown After Mowing?

bermuda lawn brown after mowing

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a perfect choice for those who live in a hot climate. This hardy grass can endure extremely high temperatures as well as survive on a small supply of water.

Bermuda is an extra-tough grass type that grows low to the ground. It can withstand high levels of pet and foot traffic, offering beautiful green cover for your backyard even if your backyard is well used.

If you use the wrong mowing techniques then bermuda grass can turn brown after mowing so you should be aware of how to stop this from being a problem.

This grass doesn’t need any specific care. Applying the right amount of fertilizer combined with regular watering, mowing, and aerating, allow you to keep your Bermuda grass green throughout the hottest times.

Bermuda grass is a perennial plant, so you do not have to re-seed it. A Bermuda grass lawn will feature a fine to medium texture and rich green color. Still, many homeowners may encounter various problems, like brown patches and dead spots.

So why does Bermuda grass turn brown after mowing? This grass goes dormant and turns brown during the winter. However, removing too much of the grass leaf when mowing may also cause your lawn to turn yellow or brown. Mow your lawn regularly, so you never have to scalp it by removing more than 1/3 of the leaf blade.

Why Does Bermuda Grass Turn Brown After Mowing?

Bermuda grass likes to be cut short, as it is a quick-growing type of grass. When it gets too tall, the top 1/3 of the grass stays green while the other 2/3 does not receive enough light and gets woody. For this reason, when mowing, you cut the green part off, and the lawn turns brown.

Uneven mowing is another common problem. It often happens when you are mowing the side of a hill, and when you set the anti-scalping wheels too high. You may try cutting the grass shorter to fix this issue.

Why is Bermuda Grass green on top and brown on bottom? ( explained )

Check out my ultimate guide for Bermuda grass.

Can Bermuda Grass Get Brown Patch?

Many Bermuda grass owners often notice the brown patches in their lawns. Over-fertilizing is one of the reasons that may cause this problem. If not fixed, they can grow and join together, damaging your lawn and making it look a mess.

Proper lawn care and maintenance will allow you to prevent the brown patch appearance. But do not wait until you need fungicides. Use mowing, watering, and fertilization properly to avoid this grass disease.

How Do You Fix Brown Spots On Bermuda Grass?

First, determine the exact cause. Depending on it, you will need to use one of the below methods:

Lawn fungi

  • During the summer, avoid nighttime irrigation, as overnight moisture on hot days facilitates the spread of brown patch disease. It would be better to water your lawn in the morning, as the excessive moisture will dry off during the day.
  • Also, you may need to use antifungal fungicides or pesticides. However, this method is quite expensive, so it is always better to prevent fungi’s appearance.

Check out my full article on whether watering your lawn at night is a good idea.

Aerate your lawn to reduce compaction

  • Use a lawn aerator or other hollow tine tool to plow the ground beneath the sods. Plowing aerates the turf and relieves its compaction.
  • Better flow of air and water to the roots of your Bermuda grass enhances the nutrient absorption, so it regains its beautiful green appearance.

Excessive shade

  • Prune the shrubs and trees around your lawn regularly to ensure optimal daylight penetration to the turf. Make sure your Bermuda grass receives no less than four hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Also, do not cut the grass lower than two inches to prevent brown patches’ appearance. It helps to eliminate shading stress and facilitate photosynthesis.

Control pests

  • Pests like lawn grub worms are another common cause of brown patches.
  • They are especially active in spring, and since that time, they start eating the roots of your Bermuda grass. You will need a grub control pesticide to get rid of them.

Do You Cut My Bermuda Grass Short Enough?

Cutting your lawn short more often may be a good solution to the brown grass problem. Moreover, it allows your Bermuda grass to stay healthier and avoid diseases like Brown Patch or Dollar Spot.

Depending on rainfall, you need to mow your lawn every 5 to 7 days, keeping it between one and two inches tall should prevent it from turning brown after mowing.

Also, apply a slow-release fertilizer every three months.

What is the best height to cut Bermuda grass?

As mentioned above, keeping your grass short allows it to stay green. However, it is better to do it by mowing often and cutting off only small amounts of the grass blades.

Never let your Bermuda grass grow higher than three inches, as it may turn brown after mowing.

Bermuda grass is quite difficult to mow. The problem is that homeowners often use incorrect lawnmowers to cut the grass.

It is best to reduce this type of grass to the height of only one to two inches. But most lawn mowers cannot mow so low to the ground without scalping the grass.

Utilizing the reel mower is the only effective way to prevent your Bermuda grass from getting damaged. You may also try raising the level of the cutting blade of your traditional lawnmower.

It allows you to prevent the grass from being scalped, but you will not achieve that beautiful look. And the reel mowers, which are usually more expensive, never scalp the grass, offering much more even cut to your lawn.

bermuda lawn brown after mowing

Check out my full article on push reel mowers.

When Should You Stop Cutting Bermuda Grass?

Fall is the right time to stop cutting Bermuda grass and let it be dormant. During this period, mow your lawn only on rare occasions.

Also, after the last mowing of the season, let the grass clippings stay on the lawn. You will not need to fertilize it as the clippings will decompose naturally, and lost nitrogen will return to the soil.

Will Dead Bermuda Grass Come Back?

Dead Bermuda grass will not come back, so you will have to take measures to regrow the lawn. You can install the new type of landscaping material like the ground cover, rocks, or mulch, or replace the grass by sodding or seeding.

Laying sod is often a tricky task. First, you will need to prepare the soil and remove the dead grass. Only after that tedious process is the right time to start laying new sod.

If you decide to re-seed your lawn, you will need to mow the grass shorter than usual and collect the clippings, so the grass seeds can better reach the ground. Besides, before spreading the Bermuda grass seeds, add some topsoil amendments to create a healthy environment for the fresh seeds.

Whether you sod or seed, remember to water and feed the grass after installation to ensure normal growth.

Check out my full article on the best spreader for lawns.

What Causes Dead Spots In Bermuda Grass?

To fight the dead spots effectively, you need to know the cause. The most common causes of the dead spots in your lawn include:

Bermuda grass dormancy

As you already know, Bermuda is a warm-season type of grass, so it goes dormant during the cold times. The brown patches that appear during this period are not dead spots, and they will disappear with the return of warmer days.

Usually, the active growth period lasts from April to September. After that time, you may notice the brown spots in your lawn due to the grass inactivity.

Fungal disease

Fungi cause many undesirable problems like leaf spots, dollar spots, spring dead spots, or brown patch disease. However, they usually stay dormant, waiting for the ideal conditions for reproduction and growth.

Excessive nighttime irrigation during hot summer days is the leading cause of dead spots in the lawn. Fungi inhibit photosynthesis, gradually spreading across the grass leaves.


If you do not dethatch and aerate your lawn regularly, the turf can get over compacted, causing drainage issues during heavy rainfalls.

The resultant waterlogging causes root suffocation, cutting off the supply of vital nutrients. The brown color of your grass means that your lawn lacks oxygen and nutrients.


Dead spots may appear in heavily shaded areas of your backyard. Bermuda grass needs a lot of sunlight for its natural growth and development. Moreover, excessive shade exposes your lawn to various pests and diseases.

brown grass after mowing bermuda

Check out my lawn care for dummies article.

How To Make Your Brown Grass Green Fast?


Bermuda grass can tolerate drought conditions and hot temperatures. However, you still need to water your lawn at least once a week. It allows the roots of your grass to grow deep enough to keep your lawn green even during the hottest days.

It will be best to water your lawn for four to five hours, letting the water reach the deep layers of the turf. This helps the roots of your grass to grow down instead of building a shallow foundation.

If your lawn is not green and this is because of drought then simply adding water should be enough to make it quickly turn green again.


Using a fertilizer on your Bermuda lawn will be the quickest way to make your grass green quickly if it is brown from any sort of nutrient deficiency.

If you are looking for the fertilizer to work quickly then you really can’t hope to stick with an organic fertilizer, organic fertilizers will work and make your grass green but just not as quickly as a synthetic chemical fertilizer.

It is up to you whether you want to go for speed and sacrifice any ideas of growing an organic lawn.

To green up your lawn quickly, you may apply the nitrogen fertilizer. Use it every five weeks during the growing season. April, July, and September are the three main months when Bermuda grass needs fertilizing.


Aeration is another way to make your lawn green again. It helps the Bermuda grass better absorb moisture and nutrients. You can rent core aerators from your local garden store, as they work best.

Use this machine to remove soil plugs and rollover the lawn, so the roots will have more room to grow. Also, it prevents the soil over-compacting, allowing the moisture to reach the roots.

Can You Water Bermuda Grass At Night?

If it is an absolute emergency you can water your grass at any time you want to however I would avoid watering at night on a regular basis.

Some people think it would be sensible to water your grass at night as that will mean less water will evaporate due to the lower temperature and your grass will get more time to absorb more of the water.

It is true that less water will evaporate if you water your lawn at night but this will leave your lawn in a damp condition and this can actually lead to mold and fungus starting to grow on your lawn.

If you have been away on holiday or something and when you return your grass is brown and you think it may be dying then you should of course water it as quickly as possible but I would never plan to water my lawn at night as part of a regular lawn maintenance routine.


Keeping Bermuda grass lawn green is a great challenge. However, now you have enough knowledge to do it. The most important things to remember are as follows:

  •  Aerate your lawn in fall when the days are colder.
  • Fertilize the grass in spring and fall. Avoid fertilizing your lawn when it is stressed and during drought.
  •  Water in the early morning to help prevent fungi from growing.
  •  Perform soil tests regularly to know what amendments your Bermuda grass needs.

These simple rules can save you a lot of money and time, making your lawn green and beautiful!

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