3 Signs Your Lawn is Unhealthy - Backyard Boss
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3 Signs Your Lawn is Unhealthy

Lawns are often associated with lush green as far as the eye can see. However, there are some consequences for not tending to it properly. First, an unhealthy lawn can be a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Second, it can be costly to maintain an unhealthy lawn. Finally, it is not good for the environment!

Do you know what to look for when your lawn is unhealthy? Here are some tips to help you out! Even if you’re not the best at taking care of things, these tips will make it easy for you to tell when something is wrong. So, keep on reading, and be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back later!

Brown and Yellow Patches

Dead grass on brown lawn
Image credits: Supersmario via Canva

Is your once-lush green lawn is now dotted with brown or yellow patches? It could be a sign of drought stressnutrient deficiency, poor drainage, excessive thatch, pests, or even disease. If you don’t take action immediately, the problem will not only get worse but could eventually kill your entire lawn. There are a few ways to fix this issue:

Water Deeply and Regularly

One of the best ways to prevent brown and yellow patches is to make sure your lawn is getting enough water. Water your lawn deeply (about 1 inch per week) and on a regular basis.

Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn can also help. This process involves punching small holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of the grass.

Apply a Fertilizer

Applying fertilizer to your lawn can help it liven up and make it healthier overall. Look for a fertilizer specifically designed for use on lawns.

Reseed Bare Spots

If you have small, bare spots on your lawn, you can try to seed them. Be sure to use a quality grass seed mix and follow the directions on the package carefully. Once you are done spreading the seeds, give you lawn a healthy watering. 

Treat for Diseases and Pests

If disease or pest cause the brown and yellow patches on your lawn, you must act immediately. There are several different products available that can help to treat these problems, such as insecticides and fungicides. You can even DIY your own for a more ec0-friendly solution.

Contact Professionals

If you’re not sure what’s causing the problem, you can always consult with a lawn care professional. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action. You could also soil test your lawn to see if it’s lacking nutrients.

Thinning Grass

Young man mowing lawn
Image credits: StockWithMe via Canva

Thick, healthy grass is the key to a beautiful lawn, and if you notice that it’s thinning, it might be a sign that something wrong is going on with it. Here are four reasons why thinning grass is a sign of an unhealthy lawn:

Poor Soil Quality

If your grass is thinning, it could be due to poor soil quality. The first step to a healthy lawn is improving its quality. You can do it by adding organic matter, such as compost or manure, to your soil. It will help improve drainage and aeration and provide essential nutrients for your grass. You could also add a top dressing treatment to bald spots as a way to amend the soil.

Improper Mowing

If you notice your grass is thinning, it’s time to take a closer look at your lawn care routine. Excessive mowing is one of the main reasons why lawns become unhealthy. When you mow too frequently, you remove more of the leaf blade than the grass can regenerate. This puts stress on the grass and can eventually lead to bald spots and an overall decline in health.

If your grass is thinner than usual, take a step back and reassess your mowing schedule. You may be cutting your grass too often or at the wrong height. Both of these factors can contribute to thinning grass.

Instead of mowing every week, try cutting back a little. And be sure to set your mower blade to the generally recommended height of 3 inches.

Spongy Feeling

Dethatching Lawn
Image credits: Ingo Bartussek via Shutterstock

When your lawn feels spongy when you walk on it, that’s a sign that something is not okay. Your lawn needs healthy soil to provide a solid foundation, and when the soil is unhealthy, the grassroots don’t have the support they need. It can lead to many problems, including an increase in weeds, disease, and insect infestation. Here are three reasons your lawn may feel spongy and what you can do to fix the issue.


Thatch is a layer of dead and dying grass, leaves, and other organic matter that can build up between the layer of ground and the grass. While a small amount of thatch is ok and even beneficial to your lawn, too much can create problems.

If your lawn has a thick layer of thatch, it can prevent water, air, and nutrients from reaching the roots of your grass. It can make your lawn more susceptible to drought stress, disease, fungal sickness, and insect infestations.

If you think your lawn has too much thatch, you can use a power rake or dethatching machine to remove excess thatch from your lawn.


You know that spongy feeling you get when you walk on your lawn after a rainstorm? Well, that’s a sign that your lawn is unhealthy.

When your lawn is overwatered, the soil becomes waterlogged and can’t drain properly. It prevents oxygen from reaching the roots of your grass, which can lead to various problems like disease, pests, and even death.

If you’re noticing a lot of puddles on your lawn or if your grass is looking soggy, it’s time to cut back on the watering. To remedy the situation aerate your lawn and let it dry out for a few days to help it recover. Hopefully it will be healthy again in no time.


Grubs are small, white, C-shaped pests that feast on the roots of grasses. A healthy lawn has a strong root system that helps the grass withstand stressors like heat, drought, and foot traffic. However, when grubs munch on those roots, the grass becomes weaker and more susceptible to damage.

If you suspect you have grubs on your lawn, there are a few things you can do to confirm their presence. First, take a look at your lawn. Are there any brown patches? If so, grubs are probably there causing damage. Second, try to lift a section of turf. If the grass pulls away from the soil, that’s another sign of grubs.

To get rid of grubs from your lawn, apply a grub control product to kill them and help prevent new ones from moving in.

The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side

Unhealthy lawns can be detrimental to your landscape and carry diseases and unwanted pests. If you notice any discoloration, thinning, or squishy spots, you know it’s time to act!

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to get out there and take a closer look at your lawn! Remember, try to avoid overwatering, mow your lawn regularly (but not too short), fertilize your lawn when needed, aerate your lawn, and finally, keep an eye out for pests and diseases and treat them quickly.

Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines – every yard is different and will require its own specific care. If you have any questions or tips of your own, be sure to leave them in the comments below. And don’t forget to share with your friends and family! They’ll appreciate it. Happy gardening!