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Why Is My Lawn So Yellow?

June 15th, 2013

Certain years, yellow grass appears on most lawns due to scorching heat or drought-like conditions. Yet, at other times, yellow grass issues do not appear to have an obvious cause or solution. You water, mow regularly, and yet unsightly yellow patches remain.

Yellow patches can occur for many reasons, most commonly:

Under watering. Be sure to water your lawn, according to local regulations, especially during times of extreme heat. Those grass plants are thirsty. Do what you can to alleviate their distress. Water in the early morning or early evening for best results.

Pet urine. Nitrogen from pet urine will burn the grass plant root, resulting in yellow, dying grass. Pets can be given extra water to dilute nitrogen concentration in urine and trained to urinate on non-turf areas. A few well placed “No dogs on the grass” signs may help with the neighborhood pets.

Soil acidity. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Anything higher is acidic, while lower is alkaline. Soil samples can be collected and analyzed by lawn care professionals or your local state extension.

Cinch bugs and other pest infestation. Soil samples can be taken by a professional lawn care specialist to recommend a course of action.

Surface pressure. This occurs when you leave a heavy object, such as a kiddie pool, on the grass for an extended time. The yellow circles and resulting smell of decay make for an unpleasant surprise. Avoid keeping heavy objects in one place for long periods of time.

Excessive thatch. Thatch of more than ½ inch is no longer beneficial and can be damaging to long-term turf health. In small amounts, thatch is beneficial to your turf, providing insulation against temperature fluctuations. Once it grows higher than a ½ inch, your turf damage may occur.

Yellow grass is a condition that should be addressed. Do your research. Determine a proper course of action and make yellow grass a distant memory.