Why is my sod turning yellow is a worrisome problem because nothing is worse than seeing your well-maintained grass turn yellow all of a sudden.

Sod Turning Yellow Causes and Quick Solutions

Healthy grass turning yellow can be due to improper watering, fertilizer burns, and fungal infections.

This article will list all these reasons along with quick and practical solutions.

Why Is My Sod Suddenly Turning Yellow?

Your sod is turning yellow because it has been watered improperly, or it has been mowed too short, it may have had a pool or tub water spilled. It may also have fungal infection, or improper fertilization, or your pet has urinated on it. 

Things that turn a grass yellow include improper lawn care, too much fertilizing, fungal infections, or pet urine. All of this can be avoided if you pay due diligence.

– Being Watered Improperly

Nothing yellows a sod faster than improper watering habits, under watering or overwatering. It is typical for all grass types to need at least one inch of water weekly during their growth period. 

In case of neglect on your part, prolonged drought, or sandy soil unable to hold water, you will see the grass blades yellowing at an alarming rate. When it is being under watered, it would show how the sod doesn’t have a right nourishment to produce proper amount of chlorophyll, as a result, under watering would have a huge impact on the growth and losing color.

On the other hand, overwatering sod is just as bad because the grass roots and blades become mushy with water and begin to rot. They soon succumb to any fungal or bacterial infection that attacks them first. If your grass is yellow with plump, mushy leaves, you are excessively watering it, so it doesn’t have chance to reestablish itself.

– It Has Been Mowed Too Short

Each grass type has a particular recommendation for how low it can be mowed; you should only cut it up to that. At most, one-third of the grass blade should be cut off during a single mowing session.

Otherwise, the grass left will be too traumatized to heal or survive, because it cannot grow as good as it has to, and as a result it would start losing its color and becoming yellow rather than green. 

Reasons for Sod Turning Yellow

If a healthy lawn converts into yellow grass immediately after it has been mowed, then this means that you must have cut off too much grass. Lastly, if the lawn mower’s blades have not been sharpened for a while, the mowed grass will be shredded instead of cut by the dull blades.

– Spillover From The Pool or Hot Water Tub

If you have constructed a pool or a hot tub within your lawn, it must be constantly sterilized with chlorine to keep it safe. Chlorinated water is poison for grass because it soaks down into the soil and burns it to the roots. It will weaken the sods and this is why the sods will start to lose their normal range of growth and lose their strength and color. 

In accidental spillover, the sod quickly turns yellow and brown before dying permanently. Water occasionally splashes on the grass on the periphery of the pool and turns it yellow in patches. We do not recommend building a pool or a hot tub near the lawn because some spillover is inevitable.

– Fungal Infections Like Mildew

Fungal diseases are often the cause of yellowing grass in your sod. They are quick to attack sod that is overwatered or has soil compaction. Other factors predisposing to fungal infections are excess fertilizer use, nutrient deficiencies, humid and hot weather, and dull blades.

When a fungus attacks the sod, usually due to different reasons such as having previously left fungi, or over watering the place, it will begin to grow some of these fungi. As a result of the latter the sods will not grow in a proper manner, and this is why it will start developing in a weak manner and lose their greenness.

– It Has Failed To Take Root

When sod is not installed properly, a space remains between the soil and the sod. The roots will not be able to reach the soil, and your sod will turn yellow from malnutrition. This is due to the weakness of establishment, as it grows weakly, which is why it doesn’t have the proper amount of energy to develop the chlorophyll. 

– Sod Has Been Improperly Fertilizer

Fertilization is important in lawn care to prevent any nutrient deficiency from occurring. Using a chemical fertilizer of more than the required amount without dilution will burn the grass and make it turn yellow. This risk is higher when liquid fertilizers are used, when the lawn is fertilized during dormancy or when it is fertilized more than once a month.

– Your Pet Has Urinated on It

If you own pets and patches of yellow appear over the sod overnight, it is not hard to connect the two. Common household pets like dogs, cats, and rabbits produce very concentrated urine that burns grass on contact, and if you have left your pet unsupervised when it was outside, and as a result, it urinated, then this is a threat to the sod. 

Dog urine, in particular, is rich in nitrogen and gets absorbed into the soil, which burns the grass down to its roots. Unlike most other types of yellowing, grass burnt from animal urine will die permanently. 

How To Save Your Sod From Yellowing?

To save your sod from yellowing you should begin by laying the sod properly, and make sure the water it in the right way. In addition to this, you should ensure to treat the fungal infections in a proper way, and be cautious to keep your pets away from the sod. 

Cure and prevent yellow coloring of your sod by installing it the right way and maintaining a good watering schedule. Ensure to keep all types of pests, and diseases away from the lawn.

– Lay The Sod Properly

If you feel like the sod is not in contact with the soil underneath, gently use a roller to press it firmly to the ground. This will turn yellow grass green fast because the roots can get water and food from the soil more easily after you have placed them well. If this doesn’t help, call in professional sod installers that day before the sod dies completely. On the contrary, you have to be keen upon setting it, as you can even start to establish it when the sods are new or newly placed. 

– Water it The Right Way

You will see your yellow sod turn green as soon as you fix your watering habits. Yes, it would be best if you watered about an inch of water every week but remember important external factors. As a result, you must enhance a proper watering schedule, and aim to water the sods the proper amount, which means not excessively nor lacking.

Solution for Sod Turning Yellow

If the ground is too compact and holds water, you must carry out soil aeration to improve drainage. If the soil is too sandy to hold any water, adding organic substances like peat or compost will help improve it. 

It is best to hold off on watering the sod yourself if your area has received enough rainfall for the week. A good habit is always to check the dryness of the topsoil first to see whether the sod needs to be watered.

– Treat Fungal Infections 

If there is yellow in the grass because of a fungal infection, it must be treated promptly and on time. You can diagnose a fungal infection from the swollen leaf blades, browning edges, and the sight stench that emanates from it. To turn yellow grass green again, you can use chemical fungicides or home remedies, as you would begin to tackle this issue.

Adding just one tablespoon of baking soda in five liters or one gallon of water makes a good antifungal agent. See if you can find authentic neem oil from somewhere because it, too, can get rid of fungal lawn diseases. 

To elaborate the matter further, what you can do is collect five liters of water in a bucket and add about four to five tablespoons of neem oil. Store this mixture in an airtight container and spray a small amount on the lawn every third day until the issue is resolved.

If you are comfortable exposing your lawn to commercial fertilizers, the issue will be resolved much more quickly. You can get one in liquid to spray over the lawn or get granules tilled superficially into the soil. 

– Keep Pets Away From The Sod

If the yellow areas in the sod turn-out to be urine spots, you must keep your beloved pets off the lawn. Sure, we all like seeing our furry friends playing around in the grass and enjoying nature, but unless they are trained not to pee in it, we suggest you keep them indoors. 

Sometimes, keeping pests away is as simple as keeping the doors locked so they cannot get out, or make sure that you would train them well and let them know how some places are not the right area to urinate. You can also try spraying homemade pet repellents around the periphery of the lawn, such as cayenne pepper or pepper spray, to keep dogs and cats away. When you notice dog urine spots, rapidly dilute that area with lots of water.

Controlling Sod Turning Yellow


Before we end this guide on sod yellowing, here are the key points that need to stay with you.

  • Sod will turn pale yellow when it is watered more than usual or too little.
  • Too much fertilizer, weed killers, and animal urine burns the grass and turns it yellow.
  • If the sod catches bacterial or fungal infections, it will again discolor and turn brown or yellow.

Instead of panicking the next time you see yellow patches in your lawn, please go through our guide to see what might be causing them to occur. Then use our tips to get rid of these yellow patches within a short period.

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