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Lawn Care In Poor Health
Lawn lacking in colour

Lawn Is Losing Colour

This article continues to look at discolouration of lawns which we started to look at in the article Lawn Is Turning Yellow or Brown. When lawns reach the stage of becoming yellow or brown, it generally signifies a problem in our lawn care regimen which has caused a great deal of damage or shock to the lawn’s health.

With an ongoing lack of a dark green colour, it can signify some of the same problems but in a milder form, or just that the lawn is lacking something that it needs for it’s optimum health. So lets have a look at some possible causes and fixes.

What’s Missing In Our Lawn Care?

The lawn is still alive, it’s not in shock, it’s not dying, yet it is just a light green colour, grows slowly, and we know it’s just not healthy. The problem is that the lawn is missing something required for its optimum health, and this should be simple to discover and rectify.

Lack Of Water

Grab a spade and dig out a soil sample as mentioned in the previous article, and check for water retention in the soil. This can tell us instantly if we have a water problem, if the problem was very bad - then the lawn would be yellow or brown, so we are looking for minor problems.

A minor problem can be difficult to determine because the soil can look as if it contains moisture, but the problem is that it might not be enough water for the lawn. So check reticulation watering times and adjust if necessary, if results aren’t seen within a month then further investigation is required.

Wetting Agents are always a great idea to apply twice per year. They allow greater distribution of water throughout the soil and allow the soil to hold onto water for longer periods of time. The water is then available to the lawn for a longer period of time.

lawn care in poor health
Soft Leaf Buffalo assessed as lacking adequate water and nutrients.
As a corner block, this lawn is also susceptible to high winds from the street which dry the soil at a faster than normal rate.

Lack Of Nutrients

Lawn care routines must include light fertilising every two months, or otherwise most recommended to apply at manufacturers recommendations, this provides the turf with the nutrients it requires to maintain and reach that dark green colour and health.

There is a difference in the quality of fertilisers, and the results show in the lawn, using a cheap fertiliser may save money, but it just will not give the lawn the quality nutrients it requires, and the result may be... no result at all or underachieved results. So I always like to spend the extra few dollars and switch to a quality known fertiliser brand, the difference of the results of the cheap brand and quality brand is sometimes amazing to see.

Wrong pH Levels

If soils are out of balance with alkalinity or acidity levels too far outside of their requirements, the lawn will suffer poor health most often noticed in lack of colour in the lawn. Home pH test kits are available is most nurseries at a very reasonable cost, usually under $10. A couple of simple steps is all it takes to determine the pH of your soil, and whether it requires adjustment.

Adjusting pH is relatively simple by either gradually adding lime or iron as a supplement to the lawn. Lime is used if acidity is too high, and iron is used if alkalinity is too high.


Most lawn will lose some colour in Winter, if it’s winter time, then there is really nothing that can be done to rectify the problem until the warmer weather arrives again.

Proper preparation is vital if we want to maintain a healthy lawn through winter, and this must begin in mid-Autumn before the lawn has become dormant. The simplest thing to do is to use a good Winter fertiliser, and apply it in Autumn before dormancy sets in, and again in mid Winter, and make this a part of our normal lawn care routine from now on.

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