Why Is My Lawn Turning Yellow? (And How To Help It)

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:52 pm

Every gardener probably has the idea that the lawn shines in a beautiful green. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and if you have some bad luck or have not perfectly maintained the lawn, then it can turn yellow. You are probably asking yourself why the lawn turns yellow and you don’t have an answer.

In fact, the reasons for a yellow lawn can be very diverse. Nevertheless, there are few mistakes that some gardeners commit that lead to discoloration.

Why Is My Lawn Turning Yellow? (And How To Help It)

Below are the most common reasons for yellow lawn and how you can restore the lawn to a beautiful color.

Rasen wird gelb

Reasons for the yellow lawn

The fact that the lawn turns yellow is a clear indication that something is wrong with its health. You may find yourself in the following reasons and you can see that you have treated the lawn incorrectly?

Mowed the lawn too early

After a long winter, the desire to mow and spruce up the lawn again as soon as possible can be strong. After all, you’ve had to leave the mower in the garage all winter and haven’t been able to use it.

However, the lawn may react to this early mowing with a refusal. The lawn has to fully cope with the winter first and if you don’t give it time to recover from the winter, then the early lawn mowing can be a reason why it will turn yellow after some time.

So after the cold winter days, give the lawn some time to get used to the warmer temperatures again. In addition, when mowing the lawn, you should also make sure that you remove the clippings. Otherwise, the lawn will not receive enough light and will also not be able to breathe sufficiently.

Also, when mowing the lawn for the first time, do not make the mistake of cutting the lawn too short. During the first cut, the lawn should not be cut below a height of 3 centimeters. In the shade, even a height of 4 centimeters is advised. In total, the lawn should not be cut by more than half.

So when mowing for the first time this season, it’s better to take a more cautious approach and give the lawn some time to recover from the harsh winter.


An obvious reason why your lawn turns yellow is a lack of water supply. Especially in the summer months, the need for water is higher and if the supply is inadequate, the lawn will first turn yellow and then brown.

It can no longer absorb the required nutrients and the individual blades of grass die. To prevent this dying, you should pay attention to sufficient watering, especially during the hot summer days.

The best way to do this is to water the lawn in the morning. In addition, it is better to water the lawn at shorter and regular intervals rather than just a few larger watering sessions.

Too much water

Rasen wird gelb - zu viel Wasser

That water could be a reason for yellow lawn was probably obvious. But not only a lack of the same is responsible for the yellow spots, but also excessive watering can lead to the unsightly discoloration.

At the same time, it does not always have to be the fault of the gardener. Perhaps you have just watered the garden to the best of your ability, and then it starts to rain. Now, without question, the lawn receives too much water and can’t really absorb it.

Although the lawn cannot utilize the water directly, the soil still absorbs and stores the water. So, if it rains and you’ve already watered the lawn anyway, be a little more restrained next time.

Before you water the lawn, it is also helpful if you determine the soil moisture. You can do this by penetrating the soil with a finger. If it is still moist even a few inches deep, then you should hold off on watering.

Permanently wet soil can cause the grass blades to die.

Excessive fertilization

Water isn’t the only thing you can be too kind to. Overdoing it with fertilizer can also cause your lawn to turn yellow.

You just wanted to do something good for your lawn and provide it with sufficient nutrients? Then with the fertilizer the motto after a larger amount is not always helpful. The lawn can not handle these nutrients and turn yellow.

It is better to use a slow-release fertilizer. This releases the nutrients more evenly and overloading the lawn is reduced.

Acidic soil

The quality of the soil is crucial for a good quality lawn. Not only is moisture an important factor, but also the pH value. This indicates how acidic a soil is.

In the hardware store you can purchase a special set to determine the pH value. With this set you can determine the value yourself and assess the quality of the soil.

If the value is below a limit of 5.5, it is called acidic soil. This is not ideal for the growth and health of the lawn. As a result, the lawn turns yellow and can hardly survive on this soil in the long run.

To raise the pH back to an ideal level, you can treat the soil with lawn lime. However, this process takes some time, so you should not expect short-term success.

What you can do against yellow lawn

Depending on the reason for which the lawn turns yellow, you can implement appropriate countermeasures. For some causes, specific tips have already been given. However, if you have not found a specific cause, then you can try these measures to make the yellow lawn green again.

If you can exclude the possibility that the lawn is too heavily fertilized, then the application of fertilizer can be a successful measure in the fight against yellow spots in the lawn.

With the help of fertilizer, a lack of nutrients can be combated and the lawn can recover.

If you notice that the condition of the lawn does not improve, then the type of fertilizer can also be a cause of poor health. In this case, it is better to try special iron fertilizer.

In general, each type of lawn reacts differently to fertilizers. If you feel that your lawn responds poorly to the fertilizer, then it may help to change the brand and composition.

Scarify the lawn

In order for the lawn to absorb nutrients well and receive enough light, the surface of the lawn should always be kept as clean as possible.

This means that you should pick up clippings after mowing the lawn. Otherwise, the lawn can not be supplied with enough light. This could be a reason for the yellow discoloration.

Therefore, remove any clippings and in the fall, you should also pick up leaves from the lawn as often as possible. Light and air are the most important building blocks for a healthy lawn.

In addition, you can still dethatch the lawn. By dethatching in the spring, you remove troublesome layers on the surface of the lawn. This is a good way to remove lawn felt or moss, and the lawn can breathe better overall.

Reseeding the lawn

If you have carried out the appropriate measures to help the lawn back on its feet, then you should reseed the affected areas. If there are bare patches, the lawn will not grow back on its own, so you will have to work on them yourself and repair them.

However, give the lawn some time to recover first. If after two weeks the spots are still yellowish discolored, then it is time to reseed the lawn there.

There are special repair kits you can use for this at the hardware store. These are usually a mixture of the seed and a fertilizer. In this way, you can repair the damaged areas and ensure better health of the lawn.

The fact that the lawn turns yellow can have many reasons. However, with the right means, you can take countermeasures and make the lawn shine vigorously again.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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