Welcome to another informative post; if you are facing your old or new grass turning yellow, you are at the right place. This post will discuss why your grass may turn yellow and how to make it healthy and green again.
The old saying is true with proper care: “A luxuriant green lawn can do wonders for a home’s curb appeal.” But that lovely look fades fast if your lawn becomes patchy and yellow.
So why is your grass turning yellow? The answer isn’t always clear-cut, but understanding the cause of your lawn’s discoloration can help you decide how to proceed.
Why is My Grass Turning Yellow & Dying- Common Reasons
Here are the top reasons experts and our experience have gathered behind those pesky yellow patches in your grass. Each one will help you prevent those unwanted yellows, giving you a lush and visually appealing spot to run, picnic, and enjoy.
1 – Water Issues
Proper watering requires a delicate balance. It is crucial to provide enough water to maintain the health of your grass while avoiding excessive watering that can lead to yellowing. Excessive moisture can deplete the soil of essential oxygen necessary for vibrant green growth.
2 – Insect Infestations
Insects can cause severe yellow patches in your lawn. If you have noticed small flies or moths flying around, you are likely dealing with an infestation.
These insects often target weak parts of the grass and feed on them, leading to yellow patches throughout the lawn. Be sure to identify the bug causing the issue and use appropriate garden products to take care of them.
3 – Shade (Not Enough & Too Much)
The right amount of shade is crucial for healthy grass growth. Too much shade can create yellowing, while not enough will leave your lawn dry and susceptible to weeds. It’s best to find the balance between 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day and shade coverage during the hottest parts.
4 – Too Much Traffic
Any area of your lawn subject to heavy foot traffic will suffer from yellow patches due to soil compaction, which reduces the oxygen supply and restricts water movement. Create pathways or cover them with mulch or similar material to prevent this.
5 – Poor Soil Quality
Poor soil quality can lead to yellow spots in your grass, as it restricts essential nutrients and oxygen from reaching the plant’s roots. Mix some compost into the soil to keep your lawn healthy and green to improve its fertility. This will provide a good source of organic matter and essential micronutrients.
6 – Over Fertilization
Applying too much fertilizer can cause yellow patches in your yard as it can burn or damage the grass, mainly if you use chemical fertilizers. Natural fertilizers like manure and compost are a better alternative to chemical fertilizers, coming in as a close second. Just be sure to know how much to use to avoid damaging your lawn.
7 – Dull Mower Blades:
A dull mower blade will cause your grass to turn yellow. When the blades on your lawnmower become worn, they can’t cut cleanly and can tear and pull at the grass blades instead. This leads to a brownish discoloration on the tips of the grass stems, which looks like yellow.
If grass blades turning yellow are a problem in your yard, check the blades on your mower and sharpen them if necessary. Sharper blades will give you a cleaner cut and healthier-looking lawn.
8 – Driving Over the Grass
Driving over grass is never a good idea, especially when it’s young or newly planted. The weight of a car can compact the soil and reduce the oxygen supply for roots, leading to yellow patches and bare spots. It also eliminates those areas for potential growth.
If you must drive over the grass, try going in the same direction each time and avoid sharp turns as much as possible. Also, stay on established paths, or you will create new ones.
9 – Your Lawn is Dying or Dormant
Your lawn may become dormant during different seasons of the year. For example, grass can turn yellow in winter due to a lack of sunlight and low temperatures.
Dying grass is different. If your lawn is subjected to prolonged periods of heat and dryness, the roots may deplete nutrients and fail to regenerate. Monitor external temperatures and watch for indications of drought to prevent this occurrence.
10– Your Kids are Overusing the Same Area
Children tend to spend a lot of time outside and can unknowingly cause yellow patches on your lawn if they overuse the same area too often. This is especially true for activities like jumping or playing tag, which can cause permanent damage or yellowing of grass.
11 – Grassy Weeds
Weeds can be persistent and difficult to get rid of. If you have grass that is a variety different from the lawn you want, it is considered a weed. You’ll have to remove these patches and replant the real variety you wish to have on your property.
12 – Dog Urine
The prolonged presence of dog urine can result in yellow spots on your grass. This is due to dogs’ production of ammonia and other chemicals when they urinate, which can damage the nearby plant roots. If this occurs occasionally, it can lead to the formation of fungus growth in the urination area, exacerbating the issues at hand.
13 – Heatwaves
A heatwave can impact the condition of your grass, causing it to turn brown during prolonged high temperatures with limited relief from natural rain. The grass survives, awaiting water and nitrogen-rich soil for rejuvenation. However, if this state persists for too long, the roots can perish, resulting in the loss of your grass.
You can help protect your lawn during these times by watering your lawn deeply, aerating, and mulching during the hottest parts of summer. Doing so will help keep your property healthy and green all year round.
How to Fix Yellow Grass & Make Grass Green Again
Once you’ve identified the cause of your yellowing grass, follow these methods to bring your lawn back to life:
Imagine a layer of dead grass, roots, and debris that gathers on the soil surface, suffocating your lawn’s potential. Fear not. Banish this menace with the mighty dethatching rake or the powerful power dethatcher. Strike during late summer or early fall when the grass is alive and thriving. Reclaim your green kingdom.
Aerating your lawn improves water and nutrient absorption by loosening compacted soil. Use a lawn aerator or rent a power core aerator to create tiny holes in the ground. The best time to aerate is in the spring or fall when the grass is actively growing, and temperatures are cooler.
Proper fertilization is essential for a healthy, green lawn. Choose a fertilizer high in nitrogen and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates. Be sure not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to further yellowing or burnt grass. Apply fertilizer during the growing season, typically in spring and fall.
How to Maintain a Green Lawn
Once you’ve fixed your yellow grass, follow these tips to keep your lawn looking green and healthy:
Establish a regular watering schedule, providing 1-1.5 inches per week. It’s best to water in the early morning, as this allows the grass to absorb the water before it evaporates in the day’s heat.
Mow your lawn regularly, maintaining a height of around 3 inches. This ensures the grass retains enough moisture and shades the soil, which promotes healthy growth.
Use of Lawn Care Products
Invest in quality lawn care products, such as fertilizers, weed control, and pest control, to maintain a healthy lawn. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for usage and application rates.
Ensuring Adequate Sunlight
Ensure your lawn receives a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Trim trees and bushes to prevent excessive shade.
Secrets to Keeping Your Lawn Green All Year Round
Finally, here are a few extra tips to maintain your lawn looking green all year round:
- Mow frequently with a sharp blade. A blade’s dullness can tear the grass and cause it to turn yellow or brown.
- Use natural mulch to improve soil health and reduce weeds.
- Test your soil for pH levels before applying any fertilizer. An unbalanced pH level can lead to yellow grass.
- Monitor your lawn for pests and diseases, which can lead the grass to turn yellow or brown.
- Be mindful of children and pets running in one area too frequently – this can create bald and yellow patches on your lawn if they overuse the same area too often. This is especially true for activities like jumping or playing fetch.
- Avoid planting different grass varieties side by side – they might cross-breed and create unsightly, uneven patches in your lawn.
- If you have large yellow patches on your lawn, consider reseeding or patching the affected area with a new variety of grass better suited for the local climate. You’ll also want to ensure you regularly fertilize and mow the area.
More Tips for Preventing Yellow Grass
Here are a few extra tips to help you avoid yellow grass in the first place:
- Plant native grasses that have adapted to your local climate. This will reduce water stress and keep your lawn looking green.
- Water deeply, but only when needed. Overwatering can create an oxygen-deprived environment, leading to root rot and yellowing grass.
- Utilize a soil testing kit to check the pH levels of your soil. If the pH is too high or low, it can lead to poor nutrient absorption and yellow grass.
- Don’t mow your lawn too short – this weakens the root system and causes stress, leading to yellow patches in your yard.
- Be mindful of your lawn care products and how often you use them. Overusing certain products can cause yellow patches on your grass.
- If you observe yellow patches in your lawn, don’t wait to take action! The sooner you start fixing the problem, the better your chance of restoring a healthy green property.
Green grass is a sign of healthy and well-maintained lawns. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a luxuriant green lawn all year round. With the proper care and maintenance, your yard can look beautiful and vibrant with minimal effort! Start today by testing your soil pH levels and giving your yard the nutrients for healthy growth. The results will be worth the effort.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.