In the cold season, the lawn is dormant. It is neither fertilized nor watered or even cut. The grass does not grow in winter, so maintenance is not necessary. Nevertheless, the lawn can change in winter, for example it can develop yellow spots. This is particularly noticeable when it is not under a thick layer of snow.


There are two main reasons for the lawn turning yellow in winter. On the one hand there is too much fertilization and on the other hand waterlogging , which damages the roots of the grass. The dying grass then turns yellow. Too many nutrients or wrong fertilization in autumn make the grass susceptible to frost damage, even then it dies.

Other causes can be:

  • too little air under snow or leaves, the grass suffocates
  • compacted soil, favors waterlogging
  • Fungal or other lawn diseases


The most important measure is good care of the lawn during its growth phase. This includes regular mowing, needs-based fertilization and sufficient watering. This is how a robust, green lawn develops that can survive the winter unscathed and does not turn yellow.

Patience is necessary

If yellow spots appear in the lawn, this must not tempt you to want to take immediate action. Despite the stains, you should always remember that the lawn is in hibernation and most measures then do more harm than good. This is especially true for watering or fertilizing. The grasses do not absorb water or nutrients, instead watering leads to waterlogging, which exacerbates the problem.
If insufficient air circulation is responsible for the yellow spots, it helps if the lawn is cleaned of all other things, especially leaves and other plant debris.

Note: If the lawn has received an autumn fertilization, it is impossible that it suffers from a nutrient deficiency in winter.

After the hibernation

The lawn is only really treated when it grows again, i.e. at the end of March or beginning of April, depending on the weather and location.

  1. Thoroughly clean the entire area. Remove all plant debris, tree branches and debris that may have flown in.
  2. When the soil is reasonably dry, scarify the lawn to increase aeration.
  3. Resume lawn care . However, the cutting is waited until the grass is strong enough again and has increased in length by about 10 cm.
  4. Arrange for a soil analysis and resume need-based fertilization.
  5. Water when dry.

If yellow spots do not disappear by themselves as a result of these measures, but bare spots develop in the lawn, these must be reseeded.


This includes the right care in autumn. Fertilization is stopped in good time before the hibernation. The lawn should only be fertilized very sparingly and preferably only after a soil analysis. This is the only way to ensure that exactly the nutrients that are missing are supplied. Although nitrogen-rich fertilization ensures rapid growth, it also weakens the plants, they form soft, less resistant leaves.

Too much water also damages the grass. Especially on loamy, heavy and compacted soils. It is better to use less, but more penetrating watering to encourage the grass plants to form longer roots.

More fall work

You can prevent the lawn from turning yellow by removing fallen leaves in the fall. Do not mow the lawn too late or too short and do not leave the clippings lying around.

Additional scarifying can be useful on compacted soils. This breaks up the soil, ventilates it better and protects it from waterlogging. After that, however, the area should not be walked on any more or as little as possible.

If snow falls, it does not necessarily have to be cleared on a lawn. It protects the grass from too low temperatures. However, when shoveling snow, avoid adding more snow to the lawn.

Note: Condensation water that forms as a result of possible snowmelt should be able to drain off easily.

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