The Yellow Spot Lawn Fix
Yellow spots on your lawn can be an eyesore. No matter how green your lawn may look, the first thing that people will notice are the yellow spots. There can be a number of causes for “dead” spots on your lawn, and they are becoming more common as we move into the late summer. Let’s look at a few reasons why your lawn maintenance may not be up to par.
We’ll start with the easiest fix first. If there has been multiple days or even weeks of no rain, lawns begin to dry up. If you take a look at the
surface of the soil, you may notice cracks in the ground. Cracks are a warning sign that if the lawn is not watered soon, the soil’s ph will become unbalanced and cause harm to grass roots, causing the grass to turn yellow or even die.
The fix: Water your grass! If rain is not expected soon, you most likely need to go out and water the lawn. Water for about 10 minutes in the morning between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. This way you can hydrate your lawn before the hottest parts of the day, and the ground can actually absorb the water instead of losing it to evaporation.
Surprisingly, dogs aren’t perfect. Pet urine is full of nitrogen, and when too much nitrogen is introduced to a lawn, it burns holes in the roots. Nitrogen is essential for ensuring a healthy lawn, but pet urine unfortunately has too much nitrogen and may cause yellow spots on your lawn.
The fix: If you can, try to train your dog to urinate somewhere else. This isn’t the most practical solution, but effective none the less. You may have to rake up the dead grass and plant new seed in that area. Don’t bother putting fertilizer down that contains nitrogen because the grass will not grow!
Around this time in July, Japanese beetles begin to pop up in Pennsylvania. Beetles lay eggs in the ground and the grubs feed on grass roots. The damage caused by beetles is easy to identify, and can be seen in the picture to the right. Notice the holes (where grubs eventually matured and became beetles) climbed out of. Yellows spots on your lawn caused by beetles usually mean they killed the root system. New grass seed will need to be planted.
The fix: Find the insecticide for the particular insect. Most insects can be killed by using Sevin.
What to do if you are unsure of the cause for yellow spots on your lawn.
If you are not sure why yellow spots on your lawn have appear, keep in mind the following:
- Has it rained lately? Do I need to water first before taking a more drastic approach to fixing my lawn?
- If it has rained or the lawn has been consistently watered, and you have a pet, notice where they go to the bathroom. Try to avoid having your pet go in the same spot.
- If the grass has been watered, and pets are not an issue, take a soil sample to see if the lawn is lacking in nutrients. Soil samples are very simple. Just take a Ziploc bag and go to a local garden center and they’ll be able to do it for you. A nitrogen deficiency is most likely the reason for your lawns yellow spots.
- If the soil is healthy, and hydrated, and pets are not an issue, pests and fungus are the last culprits. Anti-fungal treatments can be applied in the spring time, so it’s important to identify that before summer starts. Pests can easily be taken out with an insecticide, so identify which pest is the culprit, and purchase the correct insecticide.
- Also, keep in mind that the grass is being cut at an appropriate height. While you may think “it looks better” when the grass is cut very short, it’s extremely unhealthy for the lawn. Grass should be cut around 3.5″-4″ throughout the spring and summer. If the grass is being cut by a lawn maintenance service, make sure to ask them what height they are cutting at. Burnt grass means the grass is stressed. When grass is stressed, it doesn’t grow as fast, and weeds outgrow them, and begin to crowd out healthy grass seed.
- Dull blades on a lawn mower also can stress grass no matter what height you cut at. This is why at Bolton Lawn Care, we always keep our blades sharp. We understand lawn care, and how to keep lawns green and healthy.