Unless you are a big fan of the “winter wonderland” theme, a lawn full of white grass might not be something you’d love. And since you have already taken care to land on this blog, we assume you are not.
Keeping your lawn lush green is more difficult than we think. Even the slightest change in the fertilizer’s amount can also turn your lawn grass white. But that’s not the only reason.
If your lawn grass is turning white and you want to fix it, keep reading.
7 Reasons for Grass Turning White
There can be a number of reasons behind your grass turning white, and they might vary with your grass type. However, here we have listed some of the most common reasons behind color fading in lawn grass, which doesn’t depend on grass type.
1. Fungus Infestation
If all of a sudden your grass is turning white and it is not the discoloration that’s making them appear pale but a layer of powder-like substance, it can be fungus infestation.
It is very common for a variety of turf grasses to get attacked by fungus-like powdery mildew. And it is very easy to identify them.
If you look closely, look at a grass blade, and you see powder and weblike white buildup on it, it has to be a variety of the several fungal diseases that affect grass. Most commonly, it is powdery mildew, but take an expert’s help for confirmation.
If not treated in time, it can also affect shrubs, annual flowering plants, and vegetables that you might have in your lawn/ garden.
2. Grass Disease
If there’s no external coating of white powdery stuff on the grass blades, and they are actually turning pale white, it can also be a sign of grass disease.
One of the most common ones that turns turf into a pale white color is Fusarium patch disease. It is also known as the Microdochium path disease that initially turns the grass blades yellow and then pink or white.
If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, the chances of catching this is more. This mold grows underneath snow and is only visible when it starts melting during the early spring. This is also why some call it the “pink snow mold.”
3. Nutrient Deficiency
Not getting enough nutrients can also make your grass discolored and turn it into pale white. Especially nitrogen deficiency can turn your grass white in color.
Nitrogen is essential for healthy green growth, and a lack of it can result in weakened grass that loses its vibrant color.
We always say that watering is good, but overwatering isn’t. Excessive watering or poor drainage can lead to waterlogged soil, suffocating the grass roots and causing them to turn white or pale.
Plus, watering your grass more than needed and keeping it moist all the time can also promote different kinds of fungal growth.
5. Environmental Stress
Extreme weather conditions, like prolonged drought, excessive heat, or cold snaps, can stress the grass and cause it to lose its green color, sometimes turning it white or pale.
It is more likely to happen to your grass if your lawn experiences heavy footfall after using strong chemicals like herbicides.
6. Chemical Burn
Sometimes, chemical pesticides and fertilizers can be too harsh for the grass to tolerate and can cause chemical burns.
It is most likely to happen if you don’t follow the instructions given and try to eyeball it. Remember, every fertilizer and herbicide brand is different, and their recommended proportions and method of application can also be different.
So, no matter how much experience you have, ALWAYS read and follow the instructions line by line. Since, in most cases, chemical burns are irreversible, hence, once your grass is damaged, there’s no way to revive it except planting new grasslands.
7. Lack of Sunlight
Some grass types require at least six hours of sunlight on a daily basis. Not having this can make them lose their vibrant color.
So, see if the grass that’s turned white is in a shaded area or not. If the shaded grass, in particular, is turning pale, then lack of sunlight can be the possible reason.
How to Fix White Grass on Your Lawn?
Now that we have told you the common reasons why most grass types might turn white, let’s see how we can reverse that and get your lawn back to its glowry.
1. Find the Problem
Without diagnosis, you can’t do the right treatment. So before you try anything to revive your grass, you have to know what the problem is. Or you might end up making things worse.
So, have a thorough inspection and find out what the actual problem was. Check for every possible reason we mentioned above and any grass-type specific issues.
But start with the more simple things like soil compaction, pest infestation, overwatering, lack of sunlight, and so on. Because most of the time, the issues are very basic.
2. Try New Watering Practices
If you never followed any particular watering guideline that is suitable for your turf type, it’s time for you to do that.
Do a little research on how much water you should give to the grass type you have, and make sure you are sticking to it.
In general, follow some thumb rules like letting the soil dry out between watering sessions, avoiding overwatering during winters and cold and humid conditions, watering deeply and infrequently, etc.
3. Improve the Soil Drainage
If your soil is too compact, it can suffocate the grassroots and turn the grass blades discolored. So, check if your soil is well drained or not.
To test it. You can take a screwdriver or garden fork and shove it vertically into the dry soil. If it goes in easily, then the compaction is all right. However, if you need to put quite an effort to get it through, your lawn has drainage issues.
You can use aeration methods to loosen it up and follow it with sandy or loamy topsoil. It will improve the drainage of the soil, making it easier for the grass roots to absorb air and nutrients better.
4. Check Fertilizer Requirments
If you haven’t used fertilizer for quite some time now, we recommend you do a soil test. The test will help you detect the nutrients your soil is lacking, and you will be able to buy the correct fertilizer according to the test results.
Also, if you have been using fertilizer, still do a soil test to ensure you aren’t overdoing it.
5. Fix Soil’s pH
Rain, chemicals, and many other things can mess up the pH of your soil, so you need to keep a check on it from time to time.
You can buy a pH test kit and check it yourself or ask for an expert’s help. Once you know the pH of your soil, you can match it with the right level that your grass needs. Most grasses don’t prefer soil that is highly acidic or basic.
6. Treat the Turf
If you see any signs of fungal infections, you need to treat them as soon as possible. Identify the type of fungus and apply a suitable fungicide. Again, read and follow the instructions on the product carefully, as these are usually very harsh chemicals.
7. Remove Stressful Elements
After you treat your turf, leave it alone for at least a week or two. Avoid placing heavy things or even stepping on them or mowing, for that matter.
Also, if the environment is too stressful for the turf (i.e., too hot, too cold, etc.), try to balance it. For example, if it is too sunny, you can use shades and proper irrigation to ensure that the grass stays hydrated.
Is Grass Dead When it Turns White?
No. White grass doesn’t always mean it’s dead. The change in color usually happens as a reaction to stress or is an indication of disease, both of which can be reversed.
Depending on the severity of the situation, you can still revive it. And most importantly, turning white can symbolize different things in different grass types.
So, to be more accurate, first research your grass type and the significance of color change.
How to Turn White Grass Green Again?
The process of turning your white grass green will depend on what caused the discoloration in the first place. As soon as you can identify that, you can take the necessary steps to reverse it.
Here, we have mentioned some general points that are applicable to almost any grass type and something that most homeowners face in their early lawn care days. So, before thinking more critically, start with the things we mentioned in the “how to fix your grass” section and see how it goes.
You can spread some limestone powder, aka lime, in your garden to neutralize the acidity of your soil. Limestone is made up of calcium, which is basic in nature, so it helps make the soil less acidic.
Detergents and liquid soaps are sprayed to get rid of the pests that we can’t see with our naked eyes.
Hope this article answers your questions and helps you find ways to turn your lawn grass green. If you are looking for more grass-specific solutions, we have talked a lot about St. Augustine and other popular turf grass care. So do check them out!