Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

Close Icon
Science-based gardening information for Colorado communities from CSU Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Green Industries of Colorado.

1501 – Brown Tracks & Wheel Marks   arrow

Brown tracks and wheel marks

When brown wheel tracks or footprints show in a lawn during the warm summer months, the grass is drought-stressed. The grass will turn a dull bluish-green color and prints won’t disappear within a few minutes. During the spring and late fall, prints are usually from traffic on frosted grass. Frost should be allowed to melt off of the grass before foot and mower traffic is allowed on the grass.

Drought-stressed grass should be watered before any mowing, fertilizing, or traffic on the grass is allowed. Mow often enough so that no more than an inch of grass is removed at any single mowing and continue with normal or slightly increased watering.

The grass will recover within 10 to 21 days. Fertilizer will not significantly help the recovery process.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

Tell us what you think!

Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!