My turf looks yellow. Will it recover?
Oh dear, you've bought some turf, got it home, started to lay it and it's not the lush green colour you'd hoped for. What is to be done?
This turf is showing signs of stress - most likely it has been rolled up for a little too long. It will probably recover over time but will need some TLC. Avoid the situation by always buying fresh turf direct from the grower and laying it as soon as it is delivered.
First of all, stop worrying, In 90% of cases, turf that is slightly yellow when it's laid will recover and make a lovely lawn.
Having said that, don't get complacent. You're going to need to give that grass plenty of TLC in order for it to green up and look good.
Why does turf go yellow?
Most green plants will lose some of their colour if they're kept in the dark for too long. They need sunshine to activate the green pigment in ther leaves.
When turf is rolled up, the leaves can't see the light so it's logical that they'll lose their colour over time. The longer the turf is kept in the roll, the more of its lovely green colour will be lost. Keep turf rolled up for too long and the grass will definitely die.
What to do with yellow turf
First of all, take some photographs and email them to your supplier. There's no need to register a complaint right now, but it's a good idea to record the condition of the turf you have recieved. Let the supplier know the invoice or order number on your paperworks so they can trace the consignment.
If you haven't added pre-turfing fertiliser to your soil and you have some to hand, add it now. But don't waste time running down to the garden centre. Your immediate priority is to unroll that turf before it deteriorates even more.
Provided your turf doesn't feel hot, isn't stinky and isn't brown (dead!), you must lay it IMMEDIATELY. Even if its pouring with rain, cold and dark, there's something good on telly or it's tea time. Forget all of that stuff and get that turf unrolled.
This grass is going to need all the help it can get. Water it well then take some more pictures - these ones are for you ... read on........
How soon will yellow turf turn green?
If the soil is warm, the weather is kind and you keep your turf well watered, the grass should start to go green within a week or so. It's a gradual process and you might not notice the change. Go back to the pictures you took when the turf was first laid - can you see the difference?
The first two weeks after turf is laid are crucial. If, after a fortnight, you've done everything right but it stlll looks bad, contact your supplier for advice. You may need to overseed it to boost the plant population.
More information on caring for new turf
Turf heat stress and how to avoid it. Heat stress is one reason that your turf may look yellow. Read this post to find out more