Five Reasons Your Lawn Isn’t Green

Most owners try to maintain their lawns and keep them green and appealing. However, it is still common to find yards with discolored, yellow, or brown grass. Knowing the reason for the grass discoloration is an essential step to restoring your lawn and making it green again. The following are some reasons why your lawn is no longer green.

Nutrient-poor Soil

The soil requires essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and iron. Nitrogen-deficient soil causes grass discoloration and stunted growth. It can make the grass lime green and yellow. Inadequate iron, on the other hand, turns the lawn brown and the grass yellow.

Other vital nutrients include calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Magnesium is essential for chlorophyll formation and in making enzyme activators. Chlorophyll is an element in plants responsible for the green color and lack of magnesium; therefore, leading to discoloration or chlorosis.

Besides nutrient deficiency, there are other soil problems you may have on your lawn, such as poor pH and soil compaction, which cause lawn damage, and it could be why your lawn is not green.

Lack of water

Grass, like any other plant, requires an adequate water supply to stay green and healthy. If you are in a dry and hot area with little water supply, your lawn grass can dry up and turn brown due to dehydration. Also, failure to water your grass properly during the dry seasons could explain why the grass is yellow. Poor irrigation techniques such as brief, shallow watering, lead to poor root development.

 Most homeowners use sprinklers daily to water their grass; as a result, a lot of water ends up on the soil surface instead of sinking into the grass roots. With the water not reaching the roots, the grass roots start to grow on the surface to access water. Consequently, the grass turns yellow due to inadequate oxygen supply.

Presence of Pests

Pests are a common cause of lawn damage. They feed on different parts of the plant, destroying grass and turning them brown and unhealthy. Lawns’ most destructive pests include armyworms, white grubs, aphids, and moles.

White grubs are primarily found in warm climates and feed on roots. These pests destroy root systems, cutting off the water and nutrients supply to the plant. Grass attacked by white grubs dries up from dehydration and turns brown.


Weeds are stubborn plants that grow in lawns and gardens, and compete with grass for water and nutrients. Because weeds take up most of the soil’s vital nutrients and water, they leave the grass dry, unhealthy, and brown. Weeds also compete for space; if you don’t control, they could occupy a big part of your lawn and leave little room for grass. Some parasitic weeds feed off nutrients directly from the roots of the grass. Consider checking the lawn for weeds if your yard is no longer green.

Poor Maintenance

Your mowing techniques affect how your grass grows. If your mover has blunt blades that haven’t been sharpened, the blunt blades tear up the grass and leaves it overly dry. Also, cutting the grass too short, especially in a hot climate, leaves grass dry and brown. Short grass develops weak and shallow root systems that make grass yellow over time.

In addition, your dog’s urine could be why your lawn is not as green and lush as your neighbor’s grass. Urine contains high levels of nitrogen that burn grass and turns them from green to yellow. Most homeowners with pets have lawns with yellow and brown patches from their animals’ urine. There are products you can buy for your pet that will reduce the nitrogen levels in their urine, which would help green up your lawn.

How to Keep Your Lawn Green

Unless your grass is dead and your lawn completely destroyed, you can still restore it and make it green, thick, and healthy using the following practices.


Removing weeds ensures that your grass gets enough water and nutrient supply and flourishes. Weeding eliminates the competition for nutrients and minerals that are essential for growth and helps you get rid of parasitic weeds that destroy your grass. Also, ensure that you remove thatch during weeding. Thatch is a layer of dead roots, leaves, and stems that entangle with grass and limits the absorption of water and oxygen into the soil. By removing thatch, water can quickly soak into the ground and roots, and consequently, your grass stays green. Herbicides may also help to control weeds.

Feed your Soil

Grass requires nutrients to grow. If your lawn grass is yellow or brown, it could be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Get your soil tested to establish what nutrients it lacks, and then feed it with the appropriate fertilizer. There are various lawn fertilizers available in the market that contain different components. Nitrogen fertilizers promote grass growth and give the grass a deep green color. However, excess nitrogen fertilizer could turn the grass yellow due to fertilizer burn. Apply your fertilizer according to the instructions.

Pest Control

When it comes to pest control, dealing with pests early makes it easier to restore the lush color of your lawn. Identify the pests responsible for damaging your grass and find the appropriate pesticide. If you cannot find pests on your lawn, your problem may be fungi, rather than bugs. Look for signs of fungi, such as white or light brown grass with dried crusty edges, and use fungicides on them.

Water your Grass Properly

Watering your grass daily wastes water and cause shallow root development. Irrigate your lawn once every two to three days to allow water to reach the roots. Deep roots make plants strong and healthy. If you live in a hot and dry location, grow grass that suits your area’s climate and water your yard often to protect the root system.

Lawn Maintenance

Proper lawn maintenance includes using the right equipment and technique to cut your grass. Ensure you sharpen your blades frequently to avoid tearing and damaging the grass. Avoid cutting your grass too short to keep it from developing a shallow root system and drying up.

Also, keep pets away from the grass or train them to pee away from the lawn as animal urine burns and yellows grass. You may want to think about a nutritional supplement for your dog to reduce the nitrogen content in the urine.


Discolored grass could be a symptom of disease, pest infestation, and nutrient deficiency, among other factors. Ensure you first establish the cause of the discoloration before finding a suitable solution. Restoring your grass to its deep green color does not happen immediately and requires patience, effort, and proper maintenance. If you need help reviving your unhealthy lawn, we can help. Contact Cortada Landscape today.

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