Grass turned white is an issue that can occur due to various reasons such as fungal diseases, improper lawn practices, use of herbicides, etc.
If you don’t know which of these reasons applies to your white grass, our gardening experts are here to help you.
Read on as we discuss each of these reasons thoroughly and solve the mystery of how to get rid of white grass once and for all.
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- What Are the Reasons that Your Grass Turned White?
- What Are Solutions to Turn The Grass Green From White?
What Are the Reasons that Your Grass Turned White?
The reasons that your grass turned white are because of powdery mildew, gray snow mold, and damage caused by lawn mower blades. Moreover, it can also be due to fusarium patch, or herbicides, and lastly, it would also be from fertilizer burn that the grass is now white
Seeing white spots or patches is not uncommon for many gardeners. But whether your grass will return to its original color depends on how early you detect the reason, so make sure you do not ignore even the slightest abnormality.
– Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is the most common reason that your grass is turning white, because it would be prone to this infestation of the fungicide. It is a fungal disease that is hard to miss and appears as white spots, dust-like covering, or patches on the leaf blades, thereby snatching the beauty of your grass away.
This particular fungus thrives in high humidity levels and warm climates, and if you have watered it and the environment rained, then the humidity would become higher. As a result, you would see these fungi growing, because they love to grow in low-light and highly humid areas, which means your grass has a higher chance of being attacked by the fungus if it grows in a shaded area.
The fungus is less likely to attack your grass in winter or in late fall. When it has the weather conditions in its favor, it leaves powdery spores on the leaves and the leaves would become white. Young grass is more vulnerable to being affected by it than mature grass plants. If your grass turned white after fertilizing, it could be due to the high nitrogen content.
– Gray Snow Mold
It is another fungal disease that is responsible for making your grass white. If your grass has been resting under snow for more than sixty days, be prepared for it to go through this disease. The mold becomes prominent as soon as the snow melts and appears as white and gray patches all over your grass.
Your grass is more susceptible to disease if your ground has remained unfrozen before being completely covered in snow. Now, you would see that your lawn is susceptible to the disease if you have fed it nitrogen fertilizers. These fertilizers are also the reason why you see new grass turning white because of this mold.
– Gray Leaf Spot
It is a fungal lawn disease that makes your grass white. It is caused by a fungus called Pyricularia Grisea. The fungus lives its best in warm and humid weather and in lawns that are watered and fertilized abundantly.
Remember that in this case, the grass infected by it has white spots accompanied by dark grass blades. The spot disease is common in warm-season turfgrasses like the St. Augustine grass, because it is the one most prone because of its vulnerable characteristic.
– Damage Caused by Lawn Mower Blades
The lawn mower blades are another common reason which makes your grass turn white. The damage occurs when you cut your grass too low, often as low as its depth, and remove too many grass blades that the remaining turf cannot photosynthesize on its own.
As the grass loses its strength, it slowly loses its color and soon appears white or gray. This is a sign that your grass is not thriving at its best, on the contrary, the damage has been done, and it is now weak.
Blunt blades are also responsible for causing the white tips of your green grass. These dull blades scratch the grass tips, resulting in the grass losing its color or having a white overcast.
– Fusarium Patch
Another fungal disease that casts a white or bleached appearance on certain kinds of grass at different stages of infection. It mostly affects annual meadow grass, fescues, creeping bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. The infection appears in stages.
In this case, you can think about how the grass blades appear limp and soggy initially and then progress to bleached spots or white patches. These patches are four to six inches in diameter, making the grass look like something has been placed on it for quite a while, depriving it of sunlight.
On another note, the disease progresses when the soil is rich in nitrogen and less in potassium and phosphorus. It also grows rapidly when the grass is not having its growing conditions fulfilled and when there is a heavy thatch, as a result, your law would change its color and the vibrancy would become weaker.
Selective herbicides often have an organic compound called Mesotrione. These herbicides are specially designed to kill specific types of plants and weeds. This compound blocks a chlorophyll-making enzyme in plants.
Since chlorophyll is responsible for many functions like capturing sunlight, absorbing carbon dioxide, and giving the leaves their color, imagine the damage your grass will go through when it is deprived of it.
In this case, the leaves eventually lose their lush green color. You might have noticed your grass turning white after Tenacity, Callisto, Meristo, Instigate etc.-some common herbicides.
– Fertilizer Burn
It is an abiotic disorder that causes white spots on the grass. This order is also known as ‘mineral deficiency.’ Fertilizers can burn your grass, which results in long white stripes on the green blades not long after its application.
Furthermore, insufficient trace mineral iron also causes white and bleached spots on the green blades, especially if your soil has an alkaline pH. This would happen if you didn’t dilute it well, or if you added more than the necessary amount, and the blades cannot recover so well, so they would switch colors, because they have become weaker.
What Are Solutions to Turn The Grass Green From White?
Solutions to turn grass green from white are applying a fungicide on the grass, improving the lawn mowing process, and dethatching the lawn often.
In addition, you can also increase sun exposure, apply slow-releasing fertilizer, and lastly, reduce the need for herbicides.
– Apply a Fungicide on Your Grass
If you have identified that the reason why your grass had changed is due to fungal diseases, and if you have successfully managed to diagnose it as a fungal disease with the smell and the weak structure, it is time to apply a fungicide to your grass.
This fungicide treatment will either reduce the intensity of the disease or will get rid of it once and for all. These fungicides contain sulfur and neem oil, eliminating fungal diseases like powdery mildew. With some time, the fungi will die, and the grass will look good again in its new established mode.
– Improve Your Lawn Mowing Practices
We recommend you improve your lawn-mowing practices. To help your grass maintain its color and health. Adjust the mowing height, so you do not cut most of the grass blades’ height. Remember not to cut the grass more than one-third of its actual length as a rule of thumb, because you don’t want to cause other problems. The leftover length provides enough room for the grass blades to carry out the process of photosynthesis and thrive.
If you notice grass tips turning white after mowing, it is because of dull blades, and a result, you must make sure you sharpen the blades or replace them with new ones. Most gardeners recommend sharpening it after every twenty-five hours of use for lawn care. The crisp blades give you a sharp and clean cut which means less damage to your grass blades and better lawn care.
– Dethatch Your Lawn Often
To reduce or eliminate the presence of fusarium patches, dethatch your lawn often, as it loves to grow on thick thatched turfs. A power rake or a vertical cutter is an effective tool for removing the clingy thatch.
However, we do not recommend power rakes for grass types that propagate by stolons as the machine can rip the stolons, which means more harm than good, and we do not want that. When you do so, you will see that the grass has the ability to thrive again, and to be away from problems like high humidity below the turfs.
– Increase Sunlight Exposure
Another solution to getting rid of fungal diseases like powdery mildew, etc., is to give your grass more sunlight. You can do this by cutting off the shadowing branches so that the grass receives unfiltered sunlight.
On another note, think about how you may over-seed the shaded areas of your lawn with turfgrass varieties that are tolerant to shade. It is imperative to note that you must kill the weeds before you over-seed. Shaded lawns are identified with a thin grass layer home to most weeds, and it would also help in the chlorophyll abundance due to facilitating the process of photosynthesis.
– Apply a Slow-Release Fertilizer
To tackle the problem of fertilizer burn and to help your sick grass, you need to amend your way of fertilizer application. This means you must apply an even layer of fertilizer to your lawn to avoid having fertilizer accumulated at certain spots. In this case, you must also be detailed about the fact that the grass is dry before applying any fertilizer.
As a result, you should water the grass immediately after applying the fertilizer so that it is easier for the soil to absorb the granules. We recommend using an organic fertilizer to prevent the grass blades from burning and to avoid the hassle overall. A properly followed fertilizer routine also relieves you from feeding your lawn too often.
– Reduce the Need for Herbicides
The need for herbicides can be reduced in several ways, now, you can leave the lawn clipping on the lawn. With these lawn clippings, you do not have to fertilize the lawn often, and you may also sharpen your mower’s blades to make your grass less prone to diseases.
Furthermore, water your lawn infrequently but deeply, especially during droughts, the ultimate solution lies in finding out what your soil needs. Through a soil test, you can fulfill the nutrient needs and minimize the need to use a herbicide.
Understanding why your grass is turning white is simple now that you have given our article a good read, and you have even learned how to solve the problem.
Let’s summarize the key points we mentioned, so you are fully prepared to help out your grass:
- You can tackle fungal diseases by using a fungicide or by ensuring that your grass receives good sunlight.
- Ensure that your mower’s blades are sharp so that your grass does not have white tips.
- Dethatch your lawn often so your grass gets the nutrients it needs.
- You can change how you apply fertilizer to prevent the lawn grass from appearing bleached.
After reading our advice here, you can certainly go a long way in preventing white grass and helping your lawn retain its beautiful green color and your grass grow like it used to.