Why is my Grass Turning Yellow? How to Fix

Having a great looking luscious green lawn is quite an investment that involves lots of money and effort. This is why it hurts to realize that your lawn grass is changing its green color to something else. So, why is your grass turning yellow?

Your grass is turning yellow due to unbalanced supply of nutrients, insufficient watering during drought, and as a result of low amount of sunlight. Pests and diseases can also make grass to turn from green to yellow.

Why is my Grass Turning Yellow?

Among the many reasons for grass turning yellow include; 

1. Compacted soil

As a result of kids and pets playing on the lawn, the soil could end up becoming very compacted underneath. The ripple effect of this is that the grassroots have a very difficult time penetrating deep and wide in the soil. And when this does not happen, the roots cannot absorb enough nutrients from the soil.

At the same time, the soil has a very weak root system that cannot support the plants enough. Due to intense heat in the summer, the grass will start turning yellow because roots are underdeveloped to tap the necessary nutrients and water for the optimum growth of the grass.

2. Under fertilizing

It does not matter how fertile and good your lawn soils are; but when not replenished from time to time, it will be depleted of essential nutrients at some time.

And because fertilizers contain a mix of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (NPK), under fertilizing your lawn could make the grass turn yellow due to lack of these essential nutrients. This is because iron and nitrogen found in fertilizers are responsible for the lush green in your lawn grass. 

3. Over-fertilizing

Applying too much fertilizer on your lawn grass is as bad as not applying any fertilizer at all. This is because too much fertilizer contains too much nitrogen that raises the PH levels of your soil. This makes the grass turn blue-green at first then it starts turning yellow as the fertilizer is absorbed and starts burning the grass.

Over-fertilizing is not just wrong for the grass; it is also a waste of money and effort since the fertilizers are usually very expensive. It also contributes to environmental pollution when it is washed off by groundwater and directed into the streams nearby. 

4. Pets’ urine

The fun time you and your kids spend playing with your pets could be the reason for the deteriorating wellbeing of your lawn grass. This happens when pets leave their poop or piss on the grass. Dogs are the most notorious for this kind of behavior, especially urinating.

Dogs urine contain nitrogen and when this adds up to the one already provided by fertilizers, it becomes too much. As a result, the PH levels of the lawn soil rise and can no longer support the proper growth of the grass, hence it starts turning yellow. 

5. Under watering

With very little water in the soil, the grassroots cannot absorb it, nor can they absorb other nutrients for proper growth of the grass. With very little water in the soil, the grassroots are also unable to spread deep and wide enough to support the plants.

And because the heat of the sun removes water from the grass plants through evaporation, the grass wilts, weathers and starts turning yellow.

6. Overwatering

Too much water in your lawn works the same as having too little or none at all. Excess water in the soil clogs the soils, blocking oxygen from penetrating. As a result, the roots cannot breathe and this causes the yellowing of the plants.

Too much water in the lawn soil also means that the roots do not spread deep and wide enough for solid support of the grass plants, hence the yellow color.

7. Too much shade

The main reason for the yellow color on your lawn is because the grass cannot harness enough sunlight. And because sunlight is responsible for the production of chlorophyll, the green matter on plants, the grass turns yellow when it cannot access enough of it.

Too much shade could be as a result of nearby trees or weeds that have overgrown the grass, thus blocking it from accessing sunlight. 

How to Stop Grass from Turning Yellow

You can turn the yellow grass back to green by doing the following:

1. Watering often

Properly soaked lawn soils support enhanced root system and as a result, it penetrates deep and wide to gather all the necessary nutrients from the soil. Keeping in mind that heat does not kill grass but dehydration does, you will want to water your lawn more often.

With enough water, the grass will be left intact and healthy even in intense heat. This is because even after losing so much water through evaporation, there is still some water available in the soil to nourish the grass plant.

To reduce water loss through evaporation caused by heat and strong winds, schedule your watering sessions early in the morning when it is still cool and calm. The right amount of soaking should be between 4 and 6 inches deep and the grass will regain its initial lush green appeal. 

2. Keep pets at bay

You can arrest the yellowing of the grass as a result of too much nitrogen due to dog urine. You can do this by treating dog urine spots, not entertaining dog play on the lawn or even training him to play elsewhere.

And because the urine is usually in spots formation, you can conceal them by watering them more often to drain the excess nitrogen. 

3. Aerate the soil

Having seen that very compacted soils can inhibit roots system development of the grass, consider aerating them more often. Lawn aeration works by breaking the stumps and thatch that could be preventing the roots from spreading far and wide to tap the nutrients. You can do the aeration by the use of a metallic tine rake.

Aeration is also necessary because it also helps direct more oxygen into the soil and this restores the original color of the grass. It also helps in mixing the top and foundation soils, leaving your grass wee nourished and safe from yellowing.

4. Mow the grass taller

Mowing your grass too short leaves the freshly cut blades susceptible to the harsh weather elements. It also increases the loss of water from the soil through evaporation because the heat goes directly into the soil.

No matter its height, you should never mow ¾ inches of your grass at once to avoid exposing the weak to elements. And as you do your mowing, ensure your mower blades are sharp enough to avoid hacking the grass blades, something that exposes them to diseases.

5. Fertilize the grass

Fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, without all of which the grass turns yellow. To avoid this, consider fertilizing your lawn but be careful not to overdo it. The best time to apply fertilizer on your lawn is in the fall when the conditions are perfect.

Fertilizing in this season helps the grass gather stamina to last it during the dormancy in winter. At the same time, consider replacing the faster release fertilizers with slow-release fertilizers.

This is because faster release fertilizers are usually made of chemicals designed in the lab and have a higher NPK rating that adds more nitrogen into the soil. 

Slow-release fertilizers on the other hand enrich the soil slowly and for a longer time, which means the grass will have all year nourishment with nutrients. And because most slow-release fertilizers have a low NPK rating, they are healthy for your soils.

6. Weed it

Another major reason for yellow on your lawn grass is the presence of weeds. These are stronger and more vibrant than the grass plants. They compete with the grass, taking most of the nutrients and water available in the soil, leaving the grass malnourished that causes the yellow color.

To prevent this scenario, normalize weeding your lawn more often to reduce this unhealthy competition.

7. Mulching

Having said that dehydration can result not just in yellowing of your grass but also its death, consider laying down ground cover on your lawn. These allow slow penetration of water and once it is in the soil, it is retained underneath the ground cover.

It also works by discouraging the growth of weeds that compete with the grass for the little nutrients available in the soil. At the end of it all, you will have enough moisture to nourish your grass and it will turn back to green.

Final Thoughts

Grass turning yellow is not the end of your lawn; it can be revived. This is possible with the necessary corrective measures that include weeding, mulching, fertilizing within the right amounts, watering, mowing the grass taller among many others.

With the right nutrients, the grass will regain the production of chlorophyll that is responsible for its normal green color. Having done all that, now you can sit back and enjoy your lush green lawn like you used to, before. 

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