Why Your Grass is Yellow and How to Fix it? Make Lawn Green Again!


Whether it’s summer, winter, spring or fall, you might look out your window to admire your lawn, and… it’s yellow.

Your once fresh and healthy grass has turned on you, now a brown and yellow color. A lawn full of life, now dry and dead.

How did this happen? Is it fixable? Can yellow grass truly become green once again?

Regardless of whether you have several small yellow patches, or an endless sea of yellow plaguing your lawn, here are the most essential tips and tricks on how to fix yellow grass.

You might be scratching your head… how did this happen?

Let’s find out.

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Reasons Behind Yellow Grass

What causes yellow grass?

green grass and dry dead grass

Weather and Temperature

Healthy grass is full of moisture. When the weather is hot and dry, especially during the summer months, grass will sometimes become yellow due to dryness.

High temperatures and excessive exposure to sunlight can cause patches of discoloration to take over your once fresh lawn.

Also, when temperatures fluctuate during certain times of year, like fall and spring, grass becomes more vulnerable to disease, which can exacerbate the yellow or brown color.

Seasonal Changes

The changing seasons can prove to be problematic for your lawn. Long periods of rain as spring arrives can lead to overwatering.

In addition, certain types of grass fare better during certain times of the year.

For example, St. Augustine grass grows best in warmer climates, and during the colder months it often will die and turn into a brown color.

It’s also important to note that cutting your lawn too short past the spring season can cause brown or discolored grass.

Fertilization

Fertilizing your lawn provides it with the necessary minerals and nutrients for healthy grass to grow.

However, if done improperly, fertilization can have the opposite effect.

If your grass becomes overfertilized, by either applying too much in one area or by overlapping the same areas, this can cause chemical burns, which will ultimately kill the grass.

If too little fertilizer is used, the grass will not have the necessary nutrients to grow properly.

Nitrogen & Iron

The levels of both nitrogen and iron can affect the way grass grows.

If your lawn’s soil is nitrogen deficient, this essentially stunts the growth of grass.

On the other hand, too much nitrogen will promote dead grass. Animal urine or over-applying fertilizer can cause nitrogen levels to rise, and this will burn through the root system of the grass, depriving it of nutrients and water.

Similarly, iron deficiency makes it more difficult for the grass to flourish. In spring, long periods of rain can cause more grass to grow than the amount of nutrients available, causing the yellow grass as the summer months approach.

Soil Compaction

Compaction of the soil, or when the soil is tightly packed together, can inhibit the growth of grass.

When the soil is too tightly packed, the roots are unable to soak in the necessary supplements for growth.

Compaction most often occurs following the winter season, after layers of snow have pushed the dirt together.

Construction vehicles or even running your lawnmower in the same mowing pattern can cause compaction. It can also occur in areas of heavy foot traffic, so be aware of who is stepping on your grass!

Pests & Fungus

Certain insects and pests could be the reason behind your yellowing grass. They often feed on and cause the grass to die.

Pests typically appear as the temperatures get warmer. Likewise, a yellow lawn often signals the presence of fungus or disease.

Fungi can invade your lawn, causing the sea of yellow to appear. Fungi like snow mold or fairy rings will eat the healthy bacteria that helps the grass grow, and in extreme cases, fungi will invade and actually take over the area where grass was once growing.

green garden hose sprinkler sprays water over grass

Watering

Finding the perfect balance of watering for your lawn can be difficult. On the one hand, under-watering causes the grass to dry out and die.

On the other hand, over-watering will drown the grass’s root system, and deprive the grass of necessary oxygen and other nutrients.

It will also cause the roots to grow closer to the surface of the soil, leaving more susceptibility to fungus or pests.

Mowing

Your mower can have more impact on your lawn than just cutting it. Running your mower over in the same patterns can cause soil compaction.

Not only this but if your mower blades are dull, this can cause the grass to yellow. Dull blades prevent a clean cut, which when left uneven, can leave the grass more vulnerable to diseases.

Now that you know all of the different issues that may be torturing your lawn, it’s time to identify the problem.

pests and disease cause yellow spots to green lawn

Identifying the Reason Your Grass is Turning Yellow

Here are some indicators and things to look for when identifying the reason your grass is turning yellow:

Not sure where to begin?

Start here.

  • Keep an eye on the weather. If it’s been scorchingly hot and there has been little rain, your grass might be thirsty for watering.
  • If your grass seems to yellow after you mow it, your lawnmower could be the culprit. Be conscious of your mowing patterns, and check your mower blades.
  • Do a soil test. Testing your soil’s pH and other mineral levels will indicate the amount of minerals and nutrients. Look for deficiencies or if levels are too high.
  • Look for fuzzy coatings, egg sacs, or any tiny bugs. These can indicate the presence of certain pests or disease.
  • Try to identify the type of grass growing in your yard. The specific type, like Buffalo, St. Augustine, or Bermuda, can help narrow down the problem. It’s important to choose the right type of grass to your for your lawn’s climate.
  • Make sure there are no weeds growing in your lawn. Weeds will compete with the grass for nutrients and resources, and this strain on the grass can turn it yellow.

After reviewing this list, you have some idea of what is causing the yellow plague on your lawn.

Now it’s time to get down and dirty, and treat the problem to restore your grass. Fear not, it is indeed possible for yellow grass to be restored.

man standing in green lawn

How to Turn Yellow Grass Green Again?

Feeling like you need a magic wand? Or perhaps a time machine? Don’t worry. Following these steps will guarantee returning green grass to your lawn.

Watering

It’s important to strike a balance between over and under-watering your lawn. Your lawn needs to be watered only when the top layer of soil is noticeably dry.

Watering your grass deeply but infrequently is key for green growth.

Also, be sure to identify the type of soil your grass is growing in. Clay soil will hold more water, while sandy soil will not.

To find more information and products that will make watering your lawn easier, visit this article – “Best Expandable Garden Hoses for Easier Watering!

Pest and Fungus Control

The exact steps for pest control often depends on the exact type of pest, but there are some general steps to eradicate the problem.

Insecticide is one of the most common ways to alleviate pests and other insects. Be aware of the type and chemical content of the insecticide you are applying.

To treat fungus, there are several preventative measures as well as action steps to take. For prevention, it is best to keep your lawn well-maintained.

Watering in the early morning hours is beneficial, as it allows the moisture to spread throughout the day, which will help combat disease.

Keeping your lawn mowed, aerated, and watered will help combat any fungi. If you find yourself facing a persistent problem, you may need to apply a fungicide to your lawn.

Fertilization

Fertilizing your lawn can help balance the soil and make sure your grass’s roots have the right nutrients and minerals for maximum growth.

If iron or nitrogen deficiencies are present in your soil, applying fertilizer can rebalance its contents. The best way to apply fertilizer is to use a spreader.

This will ensure that the fertilizer is distributed evenly, and won’t leave any patches of soil untreated. The most essential step in applying fertilizer is to water the grass deeply after application.

Watering will allow for the chemicals in the fertilizer to reach the grass roots, instead of sitting on top and burning the grass blades, creating more yellow patches.

Compaction

Soil compaction can cause yellow spots by putting pressure on the root system of the grass and depriving it of the necessary nutrients.

The best way to fix compaction is to loosen the soil, either by raking your lawn by hand or using an aerator.

With yellow grass, you’ll want to aerate fairly aggressively. The grass is already dead, so don’t worry about any damage or harm. Aerate when the soil is moist, and finish the job by reseeding the affected areas.

Lawn mower on green grass

Mowing

If you notice your grass turning yellow after cutting the lawn, your mower might be causing the discoloration.

This is an easy fix. Make sure the blades on your mower are sharpened, in order to mow the grass with a clean cut.

If you have a decent amount of discolored grass, consider putting your mower on a slightly lower setting, to allow green grass to replace the yellow.

However, make sure the setting is not too low. Constant short cuts can worsen the discoloring.

Other Tips

Some other important things to consider when restoring your yellow lawn include the surrounding plants.

If your lawn is mostly covered by trees, a lack of sunlight could be turning your grass yellow, so you might consider cutting trees down.

Also, be sure to rake or blow any leftover grass clippings from mowing, or fallen leaves. Leftover materials sitting on the grass will turn it yellow.

It is also important to monitor the drainage of your lawn. If puddles or pools of water sit on the grass, this will prevent necessary oxygen and nutrients from getting to the roots, and the grass will become yellow.

automatic sprinkles watering plants in the garden

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for my grass to become green again?

Grass growth in general is a gradual process, so exact changes in color may be difficult to observe. If you follow all of the necessary steps the correct way, and the weather conditions are fair, your grass should start to grow green within one to two weeks.

How often should I be watering my grass to turn it green?

The recommended about of watering varies, depending on rain frequency and temperature. Your only need to water your lawn if the top layer of soil is noticeably dry.

A deep, infrequent watering of usually one to two times per week in the summer months is recommended.

How do I identify the type of grass growing in my lawn?

First, do some research to find out which grasses most commonly grow within your area or region. Some other things to look for when identifying the type of grass are blade shape, color and texture.

What kind of insecticide should I use to combat any pests or insects in my grass?

The exact type of insecticide necessary for your lawn depends on the exact type of pest you want to eradicate.

Regardless of the insecticide, it is essential to make note of the chemicals you are applying to your grass.

Organic insecticides are recommended to lower the risk of killing any helpful insects in the ecosystem of your lawn.

What if I can’t get rid of my yellow grass?

If you feel like you have tried everything you possibly could to alleviate any problems with your grass, you may want to consider reseeding or replacing any yellow patches with sod.

Summary

In conclusion, if you are faced with a sea of yellow grass, don’t worry.

There are plenty of measures you can take to prevent, as well as actively treat the problems causing any grass discoloration.

Following the steps in this article will guarantee an improvement in your grass. Be sure to visit the links included for any additional information.

Comment down below any personal tips or insight about your own experience of how to fix yellow grass!

Andy Gibson

My name's Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.

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