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A lush green lawn is the pride of many hobby gardeners. But when it gets warmer outside, yellow spots can be seen in the lawn in many places. They can have different causes.

In a nutshell

  • Yellow patches in the lawn are often the result of poor maintenance
  • The main causes are drought, errors in fertilization and pruning
  • Dogs can also cause unsightly spots
  • targeted measures promote self-healing of the lawn
  • sometimes targeted reseeding required

dryness and wetness

Persistent drought and temperatures above 30 degrees can affect lawn grasses. They turn yellow and die.

  • Degree of damage dependent on drought duration, root penetration and cutting height
  • natural rainfall is often insufficient
  • to save, first remove cutting residue
  • provides sufficient light and air for regeneration
  • then water and apply fertilizer
  • If that doesn't help, overseed the lawn
  • completely replant in the event of serious drought damage

Excessive watering can also affect lawn grasses. It does not grow and shows yellow discoloration. Then you should give the soil time to recover. You test the soil moisture and water only very cautiously at first. Ideally, it should be ten to fifteen centimeters moistened.

Mistakes in fertilizing


A common problem is the wrong handling of fertilizer. If there is an oversupply of nutrients, the lawn can hardly absorb any nutrients, it will not grow and will turn yellow in places. If there is over-fertilization, excess nutrients can be washed out of the soil by thorough watering over several days. The fertilizer concentration decreases, the grasses can recover.

Uneven distribution of the fertilizer can lead to over-fertilization of individual areas.

Tip: Regardless of the type of fertilizer, the manufacturer's dosage recommendations should be observed.

Wrong fertilizer

Lawn grasses require a very specific nutrient composition. The most important nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen promotes leaf growth and the formation of chlorophyll and phosphorus promote root formation. Potassium makes them more resistant to disease.
Good lawn fertilizers contain exactly these substances in the right ratio. Ideally, organic fertilizers should be used instead of mineral ones. They are free of chemical and mineral substances, which also protects the environment. Although the fertilizing effect sets in somewhat more slowly, it is available in the soil longer.

Unfavorable soil pH

Yellow lawn stains are not always the result of care errors. Often it is the ground. Even the best home remedies cannot do anything here.

  • The pH value of the soil is one of the decisive factors for the quality of the lawn
  • acidic pH particularly problematic
  • impairs the growth and health of the grass
  • Value ideally between 5.5 and 6.5
  • pH below 5.5 is acidic
  • Raise the value to the ideal level by liming
  • previous scarifying allows lime to take effect better

It may take some time before the first successes are visible. The pH value can be easily determined with appropriate tests from the hardware store.

Tip: For a more precise soil analysis, you can also have your soil samples evaluated in an agricultural laboratory.

Mowing error

Mowed too early

After a long winter, the grasses are battered by cold temperatures and prolonged snow cover. Now you should give them time to recharge their batteries and get used to the warmer temperatures.
If this process is prevented by mowing too early, yellow discoloration can result and the grass does not grow. Despite everything, you should remove leaves, dead or stuck grass with a rake in early spring. The first cut should be done when the grasses are twice the height of the desired cutting height, around April.

Tip: Fallen leaves should be removed as early as autumn if possible. Even in winter, lawns need a minimum amount of light.

Cut too low

Lawns are often cut too short. Then there is a risk of sunburn, which in turn causes the grass to turn yellow.

  • the shorter the lawn, the more sensitive the grass
  • first mowing at the beginning of the growing season
  • initially leave an inch or two longer than usual
  • In general, never cut lawn grass by more than half
  • From the third mowing onwards, cut down to the usual height
  • Cutting length between 3.5 and 5 cm recommended
  • not more than four centimeters when dry
  • Lawns in shady locations should never be shorter than five centimetres

Dog urine turns the lawn yellow

It is not uncommon for dog urine to be responsible for discoloration in lawns. That dogs mark is completely natural. However, if this happens on the lawn, it is particularly annoying. What you can do about it is keep an eye on the dog. As soon as he urinates, flush the affected area with copious amounts of water to prevent the grass from dying. Home remedies are not particularly helpful here either. In the case of older stains, only reseeding after removing dead plant material usually helps.

lawn diseases

Red thread (Laetisaria fuciformis)

Red tipping is characterized by irregular yellowish spots running into one another. Infection can occur all year round at temperatures between 15 and 22 degrees with a lot of humidity and a lack of nutrients, most often in summer. A pink colored mycelium can be seen in the tips of the leaves. The disease can usually be treated well by applying fertilizer. It's all about nitrogen.
This contributes to the fact that the grasses literally outgrow the disease. You calculate four to six grams of nitrogen per square meter. A few days after fertilization, there is usually not much to see from the fungus. Affected grasses will sprout again. The use of fungicides is not necessary. Regular mowing, balanced fertilization and watering should be taken as a preventive measure.

leaf spot disease

The grasses are weakened by persistent moisture, one-sided fertilization and lawn clippings that are too deep. The lawn does not grow, turns yellow and is susceptible to leaf spot disease. It can occur from spring to autumn, favored by temperatures between 10 and 30 degrees. Signs of an infestation are whitish-yellow to brownish spots. To combat this, scarify the soil, ensure adequate ventilation, fertilize as required and avoid dry and wet conditions.

dollar spot disease

Dollar spot disease occurs mostly in the summer months with temperatures above 25 degrees and cool nights with dew formation. It manifests itself in sharply demarcated, bright spots. Over time, they can grow to more than 10 cm. Necessary measures to remedy this are balanced fertilization and irrigation. It is also important to ensure good soil permeability and avoid drought stress.

frequently asked Questions

Should fertilization be stopped completely in the event of over-fertilization?

If fertilization is stopped completely, the grasses not only suffer from an excess of nutrients, but also from a lack of nutrients. Continued fertilization as normal may exacerbate the effects of over-fertilization. Only a soil analysis can provide clarity as to whether and how fertilizer should be used in the future.

How can over-fertilization be prevented?

The cause is often the use of mineral fertilizers. Over-fertilization is not possible with organic fertilizers such as compost, horn shavings or humus. Consequently, the use of organic fertilizers is generally recommended.

When should yellow areas be reseeded?

The months of September and October are ideal for reseeding. The ground is still warm and precipitation is increasing again. When it comes to seeds, you should definitely pay attention to good quality.

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