Have you wondered what could be causing yellow patches in your lawn when they seem to appear out of nowhere? This is because in the summer it is common for lawns to turn yellow, which can make the garden soil both unattractive and unhealthy. Many gardeners put hard work into lawn care only to find that the effort was for naught. There are actually several factors and mistakes, but they can be prevented with simple steps. So if you’re seeing yellow grass patches on your otherwise lush green lawn, here’s what’s causing it and how to fix the problem.
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- Here’s how to fix yellow patches in your lawn and keep your garden space in tip-top shape
How to fix yellow spots in your lawn and keep your garden area in top shape
There are several reasons why lawns turn yellow, including certain fungal diseases to which different grass species are susceptible. Other causes can include improper fertilization of the lawn as well as insect infestations that can cause discoloration. If you also have pets and especially dogs, their urine can also cause yellow spots in the lawn. This usually happens in an area where they regularly “do their business.” Fortunately, there are countermeasures you can take in each of these cases. Thus, the discoloration can be easily mitigated and you can restore your lawn to healthy condition.
Eliminate yellow lawn due to dog urine
Let’s start with a common culprit. If your dog always does his business in the same area of your lawn, you’ll probably start to see the grass turn yellow. Dog urine contains salt, which in high concentrations can damage the lawn. Such dead areas usually show up in the spring after the snow has melted and the rest of the grass begins to green up.
Animal urine, and especially dog urine, also contains a high concentration of nitrogen. Add to that the fact that many dogs are creatures of habit, preferring to use the same spot for excretion over and over again, and you have a perfect recipe for nitrogen buildup in certain spots. If you have a dog, try to get your pet to urinate in different spots around the yard instead of doing it repeatedly. Use a hose to spray off the grass after the dog finishes his business. Here are some simple steps that can help you deal with the problem properly:
- First, remove the dead grass.
- Then work the exposed soil with garden tools.
- First, apply a generous amount of gypsum and work it into the top layer of soil. This will help neutralize the salt damage.
- Afterward, flush out the area with plenty of water. This will help get the gypsum deep into the soil.
- Once the soil is workable, reseed with a high quality grass seed mix and some fertilizer.
Avoid excess fertilizer as a cause of yellow spots in the lawn
Some types of fertilizers and compost also contain large amounts of nitrogen. Using too much of these products in your yard can cause discoloration of the grass. Accordingly, too much nitrogen will cause your lawn to turn yellow because it changes the pH of the soil and burns the roots of the grass. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to avoid nitrogen buildup in your garden if you don’t overfertilize, as this mineral is easily washed away by water.
So before you use fertilizer or compost, you can check the bag for the mineral content of the product to get an idea of what you are adding to your soil. You can also test your garden soil yourself to get more specific information about what type of fertilizer you should use. Be careful about using compost or fertilizer too often, as runoff from these products not only damages grass, but some products can be bad for the environment.
Prevent physical damage and overwatering.
Yellow lawn spots could be the result of the way you mow your lawn during the summer months. If the blades of your lawn mower are dull or cut unevenly, or even cut your lawn too short, yellowing will occur as it weakens and destroys it. Therefore, make sure your lawn mower is working properly and that the mower blades are sharpened and adjusted to cut the grass at the right height for the type.
Excessive or insufficient water can also cause yellow spots in the lawn. What you can do about this is to not let your sprinkler system get stuck, so as not to overwater 1certain areas of your lawn. Also, make sure your lawn is getting the right amount of water depending on the weather. You should also still check to make sure your watering schedule matches the type of grass you planted so you can water it properly.
Control pests and insect infestations in the lawn.
Pests such as grubs and other insects can also cause yellow discoloration in grass. Such offenders deplete the lawn of nutrients as they feed on its roots. They can cause severe discoloration of the grass and even die in large numbers. They feed in ever-expanding areas, so discolored patches caused by them grow asymmetrically over time. Controlling these types of pests involves basic lawn care practices such as regular mowing, avoiding overuse of fertilizers and mowing the lawn too short, removing lawn thatch as needed and aerating the lawn once a year. Rake up leaves or grass clippings immediately after mowing your lawn. These are common places for unwanted pests to take up residence.
Eliminate yellow spots in the lawn caused by fungal diseases.
Lawns are also susceptible to certain types of fungal diseases that can cause yellow or brown discoloration. This is especially true when the weather becomes warm and humid. Patches caused by fungus are usually circular and will spread over time if not treated. Just as with pest infestations that cause lawn discoloration, prevention through regular lawn care is the best way to combat fungal disease in your yard. A basic, minimal lawn care schedule might include watering once or twice a month, or more frequently during the hottest months of the year. Mow twice a month during the peak growing season from spring through summer and into early fall. Fertilize each spring and again in the fall if needed, and aerate once a year, usually in the late spring season.
The above steps go a long way toward preventing fungal diseases and pest infestations in your garden. If yellow grass patches appear, you can slowly fix them over time by using the strategies above. This way, you will maintain a healthy lawn throughout the season. However, you can also hire a lawn care specialist. He or she can recommend an optimal maintenance plan that is tailored to your yard. This way, you can always enjoy an inviting and beautiful outdoor space.