How to Fix Lawn Striping from Fertilizer?

What is more disrupting than seeing your lawn with hit-or-miss grass stripes? The worst part is you cannot even realize it until the disrupting pattern takes shape.

I have had my fair share of ununiformed streaks over the years. All I could do was watch my neighbor’s lawn cultivated like a genius with no yellowing effect.

At last, I have found the solution to this neat but messy business. Thanks to my kind neighbor next door, I now know how to fix lawn striping from fertilizer.

These stripes form because of the over or under-fertilization of the lawn. All you have to do is fix the application route to return the turf to its pristine appearance.

You can confidently apply the steps described here if you are facing a similar striping emergency.

I hope you are ready for this!

How to Fix Fertilizer Striping on a Lawn? [Step By Step Guide]

While you may have some questions regarding its reasons, it is better to get on with the fixing methods first. Do not worry; I will explain why your lawn is screaming with stripes and how to stop it from repeating the same error.

I aim to achieve that green carpet without a single visible line appearing after fertilizing. So here it goes.

Step 1. Classify Grass Discoloration 

There are two ways you can figure out what is causing the discoloration of the lawn, eventually ending up with stripes.

Under Fertilization

Perhaps you were worried about killing the grass by excess application and ended up spreading less than required fertilizers. While your intention was noble, the action caused insufficient nutrients for the roots.

As a result, the grass will look forlorn and oppressed by malnourishment with a light green color.

Over Fertilization

Suppose you overlapped the fertilizing patterns, and there is no way of knowing until you see the grass staining. This time the grass will turn murky yellow as if a night animal has peed on the grass patch and ruined the soil. The color is due to excessive nitrogen application.

You must take the following steps only after understanding which group your lawn striping falls under. 

Step 2. Measure Your Lawn

I am pretty sure you have done this before. Nevertheless, if this is your first time, measure the entire ground with the proper gadgets.

Do not miss out on any curve, corner, or narrow breach. Finally, calculate the total square feet to assess how much fertilizer to get.

Step 3. Calculate How Much Fertilizer to Distribute

You should understand the Nitrogen percentage before purchasing the fertilizer bags. How many pounds of fertilizer do you need for the entire lawn?

Each 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn requires about 1 lb. of Nitrogen. The bags may range the percentage of Nitrogen content from 1 to 46%.

Here is an example:

Suppose your lawn is about 30,000 sq. ft., including the front and back lawn. You use the fertilizer bags with 25% Nitrogen content (25% indicates 4 lbs. of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.).

Now your lawn is recommended for 2 lbs. of Nitrogen content for fertilizer distribution. Multiply the 4 lbs. with 2 lbs. to achieve 8 lbs. of fertilizer per 1,000 sq. ft.

Lastly, the total area is 30,000 sq. ft., which is 30 times as big as 1,000 sq. ft. Hence, multiply 30 by 8 lbs. to get how much fertilizers to obtain (30 x 8 lbs. = 240 lbs. of fertilizers).

You will find an online chart to determine fertilizer distribution according to Nitrogen percentage, as it can vary in different brands/bags. So calculate accordingly.

Step 4. Purchase Fertilizer

You can now buy fertilizer bags easily in bulk without overspending or acquiring extras. Also, all fertilizer packages relay measuring details; you can follow that as well.

Step 5. Decide on a Pattern

While my favorite and most adaptable pattern is crosswise, you may opt for a different style. I recommend crosswise for beginners to get the gist of things.

Remember that this is the arrangement you must maintain throughout fertilizing.

Step 6. Apply Fertilizer with a Spreader

What type of spreader do you use? Fill it with fertilizers (half of the full bag) according to how the spreader works. Then maintain the pattern as you cross the yard in a steady motion.

Move vertically from the starting point, then fill the spreader with the remaining fertilizers to cross the lawn horizontally. This method works well to avoid over-fertilizing. Plus, it covers every angle of the lawn.

You may even occasionally overlap on the light green patches to ensure lush color in the future. 

Preventative Measures for Lawn Striping from Fertilizers

Lawn striping occurs only when you add too much fertilizer to one area or the spreader has missed a few patches. Both issues result in grass discoloration, with uneven stripes visible from afar.

You can avoid such a challenge by taking a few measures:

  • Always follow the proper fertilizer requirement after calculation.
  • Minimize fertilizer quantity if the salt content is high.
  • Try to purchase quality fertilizers to attain lush green outcomes with good nutrition.
  • Water the lawn regularly. Dry lawns transform into striping faster.
  • Always check the fertilizer ingredients before applying.
  • Ensure the spreader applies fertilizers with equal ground coverage.

Why Does My Lawn Have Stripes After Fertilizing?

There are a few possible reasons why your lawn might have stripes after fertilizing. One possible reason is that the fertilizer you used was designed to produce stripes, such as a striping fertilizer that contains different nutrients in different stripes.

This can create a striped pattern on your lawn as the grass absorbs the nutrients at different rates. Another possible reason is that you applied the fertilizer in a striped pattern, either intentionally or unintentionally.

This can also create a striped pattern on your lawn as the grass absorbs the nutrients at different rates in the applied fertilizer areas. Additionally, if you used a lawn roller or a striping kit after applying the fertilizer, this could also create stripes on your lawn.


Lawn stripping is a term used to describe the yellow or brown patches that can appear on a lawn as a result of over-fertilizing. This can happen when too much fertilizer is applied to a lawn, causing the grass to burn or damage.

In severe cases, the grass may die, leaving bare patches in the lawn. To prevent lawn stripping, it’s important to follow the instructions on your fertilizer label and apply the correct amount of fertilizer for your lawn size.

You should also avoid applying fertilizer during hot, dry weather, as this can increase the risk of damaging your grass.

If you notice yellow or brown patches on your lawn, you can try watering the affected areas thoroughly to help the grass recover. In some cases, it may be necessary to reseed the bare patches to restore the health of your lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you fix lawn striping from fertilizer?

Yes, you can alter the fertilizing pattern crosswise for a start. However, the angles may face over-application, so you can try vertical motion for half the lawn while continuing the rest with horizontal motion.

2. Why does grass burn after fertilizing?

It is due to over-fertilizing, which contains a greater amount of salts. Leaving the grass dry once you fertilize it leads to grass burn. So, turn on the sprinkles to prevent this issue.

3. My lawn stripes have light green and yellow grass. What does it mean?

Light green means you have probably missed a few spots or applied too little fertilizer. Yellowed grass is when the fertilizer application went overboard.

If your lawn has stripes with light green and yellow grass, it is likely that the grass in the light green stripes is healthier and more vigorously growing than the grass in the yellow stripes.

Various factors, such as differences in soil nutrients, watering, or exposure to sunlight can cause this. It is also possible that the grass in the light green stripes is different than the grass in the yellow stripes, which can cause differences in color and growth patterns.

If the difference in color and growth is severe, consider reseeding or re-sodding the yellow stripes to help the grass in those areas recover.

It is also a good idea to test the soil in your lawn to determine the levels of nutrients and other factors contributing to the growth difference between the light green and yellow stripes.

4. Does fertilizer burn go away?

Yes, fertilizer burn typically goes away on its own over time. Fertilizer burn is a common problem that occurs when plants are exposed to too much fertilizer, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and the plants to appear wilted.

However, the effects of fertilizer burn are usually temporary, and the plants should recover on their own within a few days to a week.

In the meantime, you can help the plants recover by watering them thoroughly to dilute the excess fertilizer in the soil and by avoiding applying any more fertilizer until the plants have fully recovered.

5. Will over-fertilized grass grow back?

Yes, over-fertilized grass will typically grow back, although it may take some time to recover from the effects of being over-fertilized.

Over-fertilization can cause the grass to become weak and yellow or brown, and it can also make the grass more susceptible to disease. However, with proper care and watering, the grass should recover and start to grow again.

It is important to avoid applying any more fertilizer until the grass has fully recovered and to monitor the grass closely to ensure that it is receiving the right amount of nutrients in the future.

Summing Up

There are solutions to every problem and puzzle in the world if we take notice of the clues. Similarly, your turf grass will tell you with visible signs when over-nourishment is affecting them.

Now that you know how to fix lawn striping from fertilizer, how about heading to the home improvement store? Your lawn demands its green luster back!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *