Can you help me figure out why this is happening to my lawn (pic)?

Mark Hoffman
by Mark Hoffman

We live in an older home in the country (outside of Dallas) and we've noticed that every summer when it gets really hot and dry, we'll have a long line of dead grass that extends from our home for several hundred yards. It only happens during the heat of the summer; other times of years the grass is fine. We have an aerobic septic system and it's lines extend the opposite direction, so I'm pretty sure it's not a sewer line since we don't have city sewer and the line of dead grass extends towards the back of the property and not towards any known water lines. We have natural gas, but the line of dead grass is nowhere near the tank or the lines that run into the house so I don't believe it's natural gas. I checked the info we had when we bought the house and there is no indication of any kind of lines, cables, piping, etc where this line of dead grass appears every summer.You can see a pic of part of the line below, but it extends much further. So I decided to dig and see what was underneath the ground and found what appears to be an old sewer line about 8 inches below the ground. It was covered in gravel, but was empty and dry and didn't appear to have anything in it for years. There was no odor. I took pics of the line and of the material of the line.So my question is : What is this line? Whatever it is causes grass to die off, but only during the heat of the summer when it's hot and dry. (This part of Texas has clay soil, and will expand and crack this time of year.)

line of dead grass

  5 answers
  • William William on Aug 02, 2019

    In the heat that line gets hot and radiates it to the surrounding soil. The heat is what kills the grass. Especially if the pipe is made of concrete which yours looks like. My neighbor once had a one car garage and a gravel driveway. Someone converted the garage to a family room at one time and just covered the gravel with soil and sod. When it gets hot the grass turns brown exaclty where the gravel drive is.

  • Tj A Tj A on Aug 02, 2019

    It is possible it is leaching something, also watch for a water trail along that line in highly wet periods, but I agree with William above. It is a pocket of heat drawing the moisture off that particular path and your options are to water that pattern a bit so it doesn't continue to die off in the hottest periods or remove the line which is expensive and very messy.

  • Cindy Cindy on Aug 03, 2019

    Hello Mark. Once the line appears, rake up and remove the dead grass. Then water it often. Doing this will make it blend in to what grass is already there. Just remember that it may come back year after year, but you can repair it every time. Good luck Mark.

  • I live in Texas, we have a similar thing in our pasture area. Below us is the sewer line. Every summer, the grass dies in the same pace

  • Mark Hoffman Mark Hoffman on Aug 03, 2019

    Thanks everyone!