Why is My Grass Turning Yellow? – 7 Simple Solutions

Your lush green garden suddenly starts turning yellow. It is indeed a cause of concern. If you are worried about what happened to the green grass and what made it change color, there could be many reasons. Worry not because there are ways to get back your green garden again. All you need to know is figuring out the root cause of the problem and then working your way to reverse the damage.

Grass Turning Yellow – 7 Reasons with Solutions

Look at your grass closely. If you notice that only the grass tips have turned yellow while the rest is still green, then the reason for this could be that you are running a blunt lawnmower on the grass, which is causing the edges to fray. This is a signal that you need to replace the blade of your lawnmower. Another reason for yellow grass tips could be a frost burn.

However, suppose you notice that the entire grass is yellow. In that case, this could be caused because of an altogether different reason. Listed below are things that you may want to watch out for and the best solutions to get back the greenery again.

1. Lack of nutrients

Your grass can turn yellow if your lawn does not get the required nutrients, especially nitrogen and iron. Take note that if your lawn gets excess nutrients, that could also turn the grass yellow. If you have a pet dog, ensure that it does not urinate on the grass. This is because dog urine contains an excess of nitrogen and too much nitrogen turns the grass yellow. Dog urine also has a high concentration of salt, which kills the grass. You will be able to see patches of grass turning yellow in the spring season while the rest of the lawn enjoys green grass. These yellow ones are the areas where your dog is urinating.

Solution – The remedy to a nutrient-starved yellow lawn is to add fertilizers that replenish the lawn. Make sure to follow the exact instructions as written on the packet. You will soon see your grass regaining its green color. If you notice yellow grass patches, then remove any dead grass immediately. Next, apply gypsum generously to the area to the top two inches of the soil, which will neutralize the damage caused by salt. Flush the area with loads of water to let the gypsum seep within the soil. Once the soil is ready, add good quality seeds, and you will soon notice green grass all over.

2. Spilling petrol and chemicals on the soil

If your lawnmower uses petrol, then this could be a reason for the grass turning yellow. Or you may have accidentally spilled some harmful chemicals which are killing the grass. Do not worry because if you act immediately, then you can minimize the damage caused.

Solution – Fill up the gasoline in the lawn mower but make sure that you are not close to the grass. Use an absorbent product that collects the fuel and disposes it off as per instruction. If the damage is severe, you may have to dig up the area and resection it again. The absorbent material can also be used for any chemical accidentally spilled on the grass. You should dig the contaminated soil and excavate it. How deep to drill should be decided depending on how deep the chemical is soaked in the soil. Do not flood the soil with water; else, the chemicals will spread to the other parts of your lawn. Backfill the area with soil free of weed and then reseed the area.

3. Exposure to heat

Prolonged exposure to heat can cause the grass to go dry and eventually lose its color. Depending on the type of grass, it could take just a couple of days for the grass to lose its entire color. It is an indication that the structure of the grass-root is not strong.

Solution – Water your lawn to get back the color. To prevent this from happening again, take care to water your lawn less frequently but thoroughly. This lets the grassroots grow downwards, searching for more water, making it less susceptible to dry out in the hot weather.

4. Cutting the grass very short

A probable reason for the grass turning yellow could be because you may have cut it very short. This is known as scalping. You can see the visible changes immediately after you cut the lawn. This occurs because the grass does not get sufficient moisture.

Solution – Let your grass grow long and give it enough water to grow. Then, when you cut the lawn, raise the mower’s cutting height or consider flattening the area to get a neat finish.

5. Children’s play area in the garden

If there is a children’s play area in the garden, you may notice the grass turning yellow around those areas. The play equipment areas or places that are used a lot cause the soil particles to get too close, not allowing enough circulation of water and oxygen. This is known as soil compaction. The soil thus lacks the basic needs and does not grow healthy and turns yellow. Soil compaction could also be caused by the construction machinery or the lawnmower moving on the same path repeatedly. This causes the grass to suffer, not letting it absorb the essential elements to support life.

Solution – The best way to solve this problem is to aerate the lawn. Plowing using a garden fork or an aerator helps. Aerate the soil when it is moist but not wet as soft soil allows deep penetration. Make several passes in the yellow grass and punch as many holes as possible. Aerating will not harm the grass. After the soil gets dry, work it back on the grass. Use a good quality seed mix to reseed the area and top dress it with compost. Finally, water the area to see the grass germinate and grow.

6. Insects and grubs

Grubs are tiny worms with a c-shape. These are the larva stage of the beetles. They are invisible and munch the grassroots cutting it from the grass blades that grow above the ground. There are some insects like the sod webworms and the chinch bugs that destroy the grass top down. Both these pests cause severe damage turning your grass yellow. The turf diseases may also cause discoloration in the grass. Fungal diseases turn the grass yellow. These are aggressive and spread very fast. 

SolutionChecking for grubs and applying insecticides in the early summer months prevents it. Some products control the grubs without affecting the job of pollination-friendly insects. It may be difficult to check for the tiny insects damaging your lawn. If you feel that the chewing insects are causing harm to your lawn, then use insecticides that eliminate the insects without causing any environmental damage. Professional fungicide application helps to stop the spread and controls fungal infections. You should also keep a check on the lawn fungus that can help you detect the problem early and take immediate action.

7. Provide adequate water

If you water the grass too much or give it too little water, then this can turn your lawn yellow. Too much water drowns the grass’s root, which starves it from oxygen that is essential to give it the green color. Too little water causes symptoms like draught that change the color of the grass to yellow.

Solution – Check the amount of water that you feed your grass. Running an automated irrigation system can make the task easier. It lets you adjust the water amount and frequency as per the season and the weather conditions.


Discoloration in the color of your grass is an indication that you need to take immediate steps to maintain the health of your lawn. The grass could be turning yellow because of any of the reasons that have been stated above. At times it may even be caused because of a combination of these issues. If you are confused and unsure asking yourself repeatedly why my grass is turning yellow, then do not hesitate to take help from a professional. They have an expert eye to spot the cause of the problem and offer immediate diagnosis and an effective solution. 

You do not want to be watering your plant more, assuming that it is experiencing drought when in reality, it was a fungus that was causing the grass to turn yellow. Leaving the judgment to a knowledgeable professional will not just save you from second-guessing about the cause of the discoloration but will also let you be assured of the right opinion and proper treatment. And the result is a well-manicured lawn exuding its greenery everywhere.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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