Turning A Yellow Lawn Green

Turning A Yellow Lawn Green

One of the best things about summer is spending more time outdoors. The warm weather and sunshine brings everyone outside in droves to enjoy their luscious, green lawns. The last thing you want to deal with are yellow spots on the lawn. Unfortunately, the summer heat isn’t always to blame for these discolorations. There are several reasons a green lawn can turn yellow. What is important is to identify the cause of the yellow spots and correct it quickly to return your lawn to its healthy green condition.

Here are 6 common causes for yellow spots on your lawn along with solutions to fix them.

Soil Issues

Soil issues are one of the most common causes for yellow turf in your lawn. These issues typically stem from a nitrogen deficiency but can also be related to a lack of other nutrients. These deficiencies can make the turf susceptible to pests and disease.

Soil issues can be corrected by:

  • Amending the soil with compost. This helps fix poor drainage and pH levels in the soil.
  • Adding fertilizer which replaces the nutrients that are missing.
  • Adding nitrogen or iron supplements to regulate these nutrient levels.

Seasonal Changes

There are several seasonal factors that can cause yellowing of your lawn. Cutting your grass too short leaves yellow or brown grass behind. A low mow should only be done on the first cut of the spring. Mower blades should be raised for all subsequent mows during the summer and fall. Iron deficiency is also a seasonal problem that can cause yellow spots. This often happens after a heavy rain causing the turf to grow faster than it can take in nutrients, making the grass turn yellow. Grasses in their off season can also turn yellow. Warm season turf will turn yellow in the fall and winter.

These seasonal issues can be corrected by:

  • Avoiding cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade when mowing.
  • Overseeding your lawn with another grass type.
  • Waiting until spring when warm season turf returns to its normal green growth season.

Environmental Factors

Some environmental factors can cause a lawn to turn yellow. Excessive dog urine, spilled gasoline and other chemicals, and a lack of a strong root system because of previous stress can all cause yellowing.

These environmental issues can be resolved by:

  • Soaking areas with excessive urine with water or dish soap to help clean the staining substance off the grass.
  • Encouraging the dog to use other areas of the lawn.
  • Reseeding or resodding your lawn.


During the summer months several factors combine to increase the dryness of your lawn. Summer often brings drought conditions to many areas, leading to increased water rates on utility bills and water restrictions by local governments. This lack of watering can cause turf to dry out significantly. Decreased watering coupled with the excessive heat and full sun exposure can cause extreme stress to your lawn, causing it to turn yellow.

Dryness can be combated with:

  • Watering more deeply and more frequently.


While the nitrogen deficiencies we mentioned earlier can cause yellowing of the lawn, too much nitrogen can have the same effect. Too much fertilizer (and subsequently too much nitrogen) can burn the roots of grass and change the pH of the soil. This makes the roots unable to take up water and nutrients they need to grow.

Overfertilizing can be corrected by:

  • Always deeply watering in fertilizer when it is applied.

Diseases & Pests

Fungal diseases can also cause yellow turf. Some common fungal diseases include fairy rings, snow mold, fusarium, and smut. Insects can also damage grass causing yellow spots. Adult insects do not typically cause a problem; it is the larvae of the insects that will eat grass roots causing damage.

Diseases and pests can be avoided by:

  • Using a fungicide in the spring combined with the healthy lawn care steps below.
  • Using an insecticide or larvacide specifically formulated for the particular pest you are dealing with.

Steps To A Healthy Lawn

Once you have identified the source of your yellow lawn and corrected it, take these steps for lawn care that you can use regularly to keep your lawn healthy and green.

  1. Mow at the correct height for your turf.
  2. Use sharp blades on your mower and only mow when the grass is dry.
  3. Use the proper turf for your region and/or climate zone.
  4. Check the soil for deficiencies and add fertilizer or nutrients to enrich as needed.
  5. Have the lawn aerated; this loosens the soil to let more nutrients, oxygen, and water reach the root system.
  6. Thin out the trees so the turf gets plenty of sunlight.
  7. Rake up any excess grass clippings and fallen leaves.
  8. Fill in any low areas with dirt or sand; water can accumulate in these areas and cause disease.
  9. Improve drainage with the help of a professional lawn care company.


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Keep Your Lawn Healthy This Winter

Keep Your Lawn Healthy This Winter

The weather during the winter season can be harsh and unpredictable, exposing your lawn to extreme conditions. In most parts of the country, lawn grass goes dormant in the winter. While your lawn may not require quite as much work during these colder months, it shouldn’t be ignored completely. A good winter lawn care plan can help ensure your grass is lush and green come spring. Check out these winter lawn care steps to make sure your lawn is healthy this spring.

1. Plan Ahead

Preparation is key to maintaining a healthy lawn not only in winter, but year-round. Have your winter lawn care plan in place early so that you can keep an eye on the weather forecast and have enough time to put your plan into action before the first frost hits.

2. Overseed

In the south, cool season grass is often used to overseed lawns to ensure green grass throughout the winter months. Sprinkle cool season seed over your lawn using a spreader, making sure to apply evenly to avoid clumps later. Drag a rake over your lawn to break up any clumps of soil and to help cover the seeds and then water with a garden hose. Afterwards, make sure to keep your soil moist and don’t let it dry out.

3. Aerate

Just before the first frost is the best time for lawn aeration. This gives the turf time to breathe before the grass goes dormant. This also helps to relieve any compaction that may have built up during the spring and summer months. For small yards you can use a spade to take out spikes of soil to make holes. For larger yards you can use a manual or motorized aerator.

4. Fertilize

The best time to fertilize your yard is right after you aerate it. This allows the grass to receive the vital nutrients it needs to get ready for winter. The grass roots then absorb and store these nutrients during the winter months. When spring rolls around, these stored nutrients are used to kick start growth. Fertilizer can be applied with the same spreader you use for overseeding. Make sure to only apply the recommended amount as too much fertilizer can burn your grass. After fertilizing, water the lawn lightly to wash the fertilizer off the grass blades and onto the soil.

5. Clean and Store

Leaves can often pile up during the fall but this can be detrimental to the health of your lawn. An overabundance of leaves can cause the lawn to suffocate before winter dormancy sets in. The leaves can also become too wet, leading to disease of the grass. If the leaves aren’t too thick or wet, they can be mulched with a mower to recycle their nutrients back into the soil. If the leaves are thick, wet, or matted, rake them up and remove them promptly. Also make sure to remove any lawn furniture, debris, toys, or spare logs from your yard as these can smother the grass, lead to disease, or even invite pests into your yard.

6. Avoid Lawn Traffic

When the grass is covered with frost or has gone dormant for the year, try to avoid walking too much on the lawn. Grass can become weak if the same path is walked over too many times. Consider installing pavers or walkways that can be used to traverse the lawn instead of walking directly on the grass.

Preparing your lawn for winter can be tedious and time consuming. If the idea of doing all this preparation seems daunting, contact a professional lawn care company who can provide you with a free lawn care analysis and set you up with a comprehensive lawn care plan to ensure your yard stays lush and green through every season of the year.


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