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How to Turn Yellow Grass Green

When your grass turns yellow, it is typically due to seasonal dormancy. But when your grass turns yellow out of season or in spots, it can be because of troubles at the roots – with the soil. Grass that turns yellow may be the result of nitrogen burn, either through overfertilizing your soil or from pet stains. Other problems with your soil may include pH imbalances or fungus. Diagnosing your problem is the first step in solving it.

Seasonal Green

Choose grass seed for winter grass, such as rye grass. Rye grass is a cold-tolerant grass that will not turn brown or go dormant in the winter. Wait until summer to plant it.

Remove thatch from your current lawn with a lawn dethathcher. This will remove the thick mat of grass at the surface of your soil. This allows new grass seed to come in contact with the soil.

Pour rye grass seed into a broadcast spreader and spread it by walking in sections over the lawn.

Water the lawn with a sprinkler to encourage germination of grass seed. Rye grass will sprout, and remain green throughout the winter.

Nitrogen Burn

Examine your lawn to diagnose the problem. Nitrogen pet burns appear as small disks of discoloration, while fertilizer burns appear as a general yellowing.

Increase the frequency of watering on your lawn to wash away nitrogen.

Apply liquid nitrogen-neutralizing products according to package directions to remove nitrogen from the soil.

Remove dead grass and loosen the soil in the lawn with a garden rake to make room for new grass to grow in its place.

Plant grass seed in the loosened soil.

Water the lawn to establish grass seed.

Fungus and Insects

Diagnose fungus or insects by inspecting the blades of grass. Insects will be visible on the surface of your lawn. Fungus-infected grass blades may appear mottled or may have residue of powdery mildew on their surface.

Purchase powdered sulfur from a lawn or farm supply store. Powdered sulfur will drive away insects and kill mold and fungus.

Place powdered sulfur into a pillowcase and tie closed with garden twine. Leave enough twine at the end of your pillowcase for a handle.

Drag the pillowcase across the ground to dust grass and soil with the residue. This will distribute it evenly. Reapply after each rain.


Rent a lawn dethatcher at a hardware or equipment store. It operates similar to a lawn mower. The cutting bar can be set with a lever. Then the machine is passed over the lawn in sections, much like a lawn mower.

Powdered sulfur is used as an amendment to change the pH in soil. When dusted on the lawn, it will not change the pH of soil, and will wash away with the next rain.

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