Cause of light green grass?

Tyler Pardee

LawnSite Member
Hi All,

My own yard has come along way in the past year however one issue I can't seem to correct is that half of the lawn is a light lime green color when the rest of the lawn is the desired dark green color. As you can see in the attached pictures, even in the fall / spring after lots of rain and fert it still retains the light green tinge. I've attached the soil test results (keep in mind the soil tested was from all areas of the lawn), pictures of the light vs dark green grass and have listed what I have done / observations below. My first thought was different grasses, however, i planted a small 1' x 1' square of Scotts Northeast Mix in that area and it looks to be light green as well? I'm thinking it might be a good idea to retest the soil in that area and possible nuke / reseed. Any idea what could cause this - low pH? low potassium? water retention? soil quality? different grass types? Any insights / suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!


Applications / Treatments:

Fall 2018
  • Dethatched
  • Spot treated crabgrass
  • Scotts Lawn Food App
Spring 2019
  • Overseeded (Scotts Grass Seed Northeast Mix)
  • Scotts Turf Builder (Crab Grass Preventer & Lawn Food)
  • Milorganite Application (Late Spring / Early Summer)
  • Liquid Potash App (Small test area on light green area with no noticeable results)

Observations / Known Facts:

  • Location: Northeast (Boston Area - Zone 6b)
  • Lawn cut at 3" (bagged clippings). I was mulching but the clippings were so much that it was matting down and killing parts of the lawn even when I mowed twice a week. Lawn seems healthier since I've started bagging the clippings.
  • The back part of the lawn (dark green) was added more recently by previous homeowner. He brought in loam and therefore the soil may be less rocky & better quality? Although, I dug up a few places in the lime green area and soil seemed fine.
  • The back part of the lawn (dark green) does receive some additional shade.
  • No sprinkler system. However, the neighbors properties all run off into the lawn and often have too much water during the Spring. As you can see in the pictures, even in the spring when the lawn has enough water & iron it still shows light green tinge.
If you have any questions or need additional details just drop a comment. Thanks!


LawnSite Fanatic
S.E. New England
Have you ever tested ph?


LawnSite Senior Member


LawnSite Senior Member
DFW area
From your photos it looks like the light green area outlines a "natural drainage path" from right to left across your lawn. Is that the case? Does it stay "more wet" after a rain? Just curious. That runoff could not only bring in unwanted seed but may cause other issues with nutrients. I know Stupid Wild A.. Guess but I've had a similar issue in the past. Did your soil test include that area? You might see different result between there and other areas.

Just thinking out loud here!


LawnSite Senior Member
Get a soil test probe. Or just dig up a few sections. With a soil probe, you’ll be able to determine if it’s a different soil structure there for some reason than the balance of the yard and water retentention/penetration.
If it’s the same yard, treated the same, and has a defining line that hard pretty much has to be (soil, shade, water, or different seed type). All four of those should be fairly easy to determine. Once you have your conclusion, treatment and resolution time gets a lot easier to focus on the true issue.


LawnSite Senior Member
I’m sorry. I just reread you post. Imported top soil, newer seeding date, and additional shade for rear portion (your desired color section). Well, you already deducted the issue.
Since you probably don’t want to cut shade down and/or add more shade to make it perfectly equal, water in the less shady section is the only way to somewhat balance that out.
Me: Personally: since the area doesn’t seem large from the photos. I’d nuke the whole thing. Bring in top soil for the “lime” section. And use top ntep rated seed and hit the whole thing at once. That gives ya an equal playing field.