I last mowed about 3 weeks ago. There are parts of my front and back yards where the grass looks like it's ready to be mowed again, but other parts that look almost the same as they did fresh after being mowed 3 weeks ago. The longer areas are thick, green, and what you'd expect to see, but the shorter areas are brownish. I have some patches in the backyard that are completely brown/dead and will need to be replaced.
The brownish areas don't get any less sunlight or water than the rest of the yard. What is potentially causing this uneven growth? What can I do to keep the grass growing more evenly and hopefully repair some of the existing damage without having to dig most of it up and plant new sod?