Is Yellow Grass Dead or Dormant on Your Lawn?

Seeing yellow grass in your yard might be strange. Before you take steps to do anything about your yellow grass, you’ll need to figure out what’s wrong with the grass. You also need to figure out whether or not the grass is still alive. The grass can be either dead or dormant.

There are a few signs that will tell you if your lawn’s grass has died or gone to sleep. Even though you cannot fix dead grass you can still make the dormant grass come back to life and get a healthy, green lawn back.

Now, the question is, is yellow grass dead or dormant, and how to tell the difference between dead grass and dormant grass?

Here are four things you can do to find out if the grass is dead or dormant. But, before that, you need to know the difference between dormant grass and dead grass.

Is Yellow Grass Dead or Dormant on Your Lawn

Dormant Grass

Your grass dies back in the winter to save energy, water, and other resources. When your lawn is under stress, it uses its energy to take care of its roots and crowns instead of growing new grass blades. This helps it stay alive.

In many parts of the world, natural grasses go to sleep during the winter because of the colder weather. When the weather warms up again in the spring, they come back to life. But in some parts of the world, natural grass lawns grow well during the cool winter months and die back during the hot summer months or when there is a drought.

It takes up to a month for a natural grass lawn to die after it goes dormant. Because countries with warmer weather face a longer period of summer, natural lawn owners need to water their lawns a lot more during the hot summer or risk having to replace their grass when the drought ends or the temperature drops.

Dead Grass

Your lawn grass can die because of a little negligence. It can die because of weather or drought. Once it’s dead there’s much you can do to bring it back to life. . Even if the weather gets better or you take other steps to bring it back to life, dead grass won’t grow as it did before. You can either reseed a dead lawn or start over with a new one if you want to make it lush and green again.

Related Post: How To Get Rid Of Grass Clippings?

Is Yellow Grass Dead or Dormant on Your Lawn?

To find out if the grass is dead or just asleep, you can try four methods. These methods will tell you if there’s still hope or not. If your lawn’s grass responds to any of these, then there’s a light of hope. If not, unfortunately, the matter has gotten out of your hands. So, what are the ways to see if the grass is still alive or not?

Observe the Pattern

The grass goes dormant at certain times every year. Most of the time, grass doesn’t grow in some parts of the lawn because of the way the land is laid out, not because it doesn’t get enough water or sunlight. If you have brown patches in your lawn where you’ve been fertilizing and watering the same way are usually caused by dead grass caused by harmful insects, disease, pet urine, and other problems. Look at the grass closely and check them out to see if the whole grass is lifeless or if there’s still life in it.

Try Pulling

After ruling out illness and insect damage as possible reasons for your yellow grass, you have to use another way to figure out what’s wrong. Now, you can do a pull test by taking a handful of grass from your lawn. If the grass is easy to pull up, it is dead for sure. Is it hard to pull up? Then it is probably just sleeping.

Weather Can Make your Grass Die or Sleep

The temperature and weather conditions can affect your lawn grass severely. Cool-season grasses go to sleep when it’s hot, while warm-season grasses go to sleep when it’s cold. Once the weather is just right, the grass will turn back to green. Plant a mix of cool-season and warm-season grasses for green grass all year long, no matter the season.

Water the Grass

When grass doesn’t get enough water or food, it goes to sleep which leads to death eventually. Try watering your grass more than 1 to 2 inches per week for a few days to see if the grass responds or not. If the grass turns green and looks alive again all of a sudden, you know it was just sleeping. If the grass does not grow or show any signs of life, it is probably dead.

If you find that your summer lawn is turning brown because the grass has gone to sleep, you will need to change how you take care of your lawn to meet the needs of your grass at this time.

Water the Grass
Water the Grass

How to Get Dormant Grass Alive or Dead Grass to Grow Back?


When it rains, the brown grass turns green again right away. If it doesn’t rain much, watering the grass once a week should be enough to make it green again. You can change the spray pattern on a sprinkler so that it only wets the grass and not the sidewalk. Set a timer on your water tap to make sure the sprinkler runs for at least 15 to 20 minutes every time you water. The best time to water is between 6 and 10 in the morning when the wind is calmer and the temperature is lower.


After your grass has grown again, you can cut it when the grass is between 3 and 12 inches tall. Don’t try to “scalp the lawn” to get rid of the black grass blades. Let the grass grow around them. Don’t throw away the grass clippings; they can be used to feed the lawn in a natural way.


After the soil gets wet again and the grass turns green, weeds will start to grow. You can pull them out by hand, or you can use a natural herbicide in specific areas. This will help your grass live.

Read Also: How to Get Rid of Grass Clippings: A Detailed Solution

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if the grass in my yard is dead or dormant?

Pull the grass and see if it comes out easily. If it does, then it’s probably dead.

Why is my grass turning brown all of a sudden?

Dieses, insects, dryness of summer, etc. can make your grass turn brown. 

How long does grass last before it dies?

Healthy grasses can go on for four weeks without water.

Final Words

Is yellow grass dead or dormant in your lawn? It can be both. The grass can be just sleeping because of the weather. On the other hand, grass can be dead as well. Do be sure, you can take some tests by yourself like watering, pulling, observing patterns, and other ways.

Whatever it is, if you have dormant grass, you can bring them back to life. However, if your lawn grass is already dead, there’s nothing to do but start from scratch.

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