Wednesday, 13 July 2016 10:05:53 Europe/London

If Your Turf Starts To Look Yellow

Help!  My turf is turning yellow!

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You’ve decided to invest in a new lawn.  Done the research, got quotes, got your turf home and now that you’ve come to lay it – it doesn’t look as green as it should?

What’s happened and what should you do?

First of all, don’t panic.  You’re not the first person to experience this, and you won’t be the last.

Why turf turns yellow

Turf is a living thing and it doesn’t like being kept in the dark.  From the minute turf is harvested it starts to lose condition. 

yellow turf

If you think about it, it makes sense.  The grass is growing in a field with plenty of fresh air circulating around, lots of daylight and roots that go deep into the ground.  All of a sudden, along comes a huge machine, slices off a good 80% of the roots, flips the grass over and rolls it up so it can’t see the sky anymore.  Then it stacks neatly on a pallet so that it travels well – but the air-flow is pretty poor.  The turf is loaded into the back of a lorry – where it can get pretty hot on a summers’ day, and transported to its final destination. 

It’s a pretty stressful experience for the plants and all they want to do is get back to doing what they do best – growing roots and leaves.

Think about what happens to you when you get stressed, put somewhere really hot and don’t get any food or water – you start to feel pretty rough and there’s a good chance that your face will change colour too.

What to do if your turf looks off-colour

If your turf is yellow instead of green, it needs some TLC – and fast!

Your first job though, should be to take a photo of it.  You’ll need this in a couple of days-time so you can compare and make sure that things are improving.  If you’re really worried, you should email the picture to your supplier ASAP – just to register your concern.

Lay turf immediately

If your turf is yellow it means that the grass plants desperately need fresh air and daylight.  You MUST unroll every piece and lay them quickly.

Use rolls from the middle of the pallet first – they’ll be the ones that are suffering the most.

That means you’ll need to take off the top two layers of turf and stack them somewhere in the shade – or even better – unroll them on some spare ground while you lay the others.  You can roll them up again when you’re ready to lay them.

How to lay turf


Watering is essential

Once your turf has been laid, water it really well.  Even if it’s raining. 

NEVER water turf while it’s still rolled up – you’ll turn the roll into a mini-sauna and that will kill the grass quicker than anything.

Take another photo

Water your turf every day for the first fortnight, making sure that the water sinks deep into the soil below.

Within a few days you should notice that the leaves begin to perk up and become greener.  That’s when you know that everything will be OK.


Related articles


Turf shelf life and hot weather


When to lay turf 


Where to buy fresh turf in Scotland 



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