Yellow Grass: Normal Transplant Shock

February 17, 2021 | Concern Solutions, Days 1-3, Days 4-14, posted by Milena

When grass is harvested, its root system is severed and can no longer access water from the earth. It is not unusual for grass to begin to stress & yellow as soon as it is harvested. The discoloration will vary depending on ambient temperatures, time of year, sod variety, prompt installation, irrigation schedule, etc.  For example, grass will yellow much more and quicker during the hottest months of the year, going into drought-induced dormancy if not irrigated properly. It will also yellow in the late fall/early winter as it transitions into winter dormancy. As you can see, it is not uncommon for grass to be prone to yellowing for nearly half the year+, depending on weather and maintenance.

Sod is a living product that relies on prompt installation & proper irrigation to pull out of transplant shock and establish healthily. Please thoroughly read the information below, and refer to the irrigation article nested within our Grass Care pages for instructions & tips on determining your sprinkler system’s efficiency to ensure your sod receives adequate water.

Bermuda Discoloration in High Temperatures

As pictured to the left, Bermuda varieties will yellow faster than other varieties; however, all turfgrass types can yellow similarly during hotter months & winter dormancy. As mentioned previously, please install &  water the grass promptly, as this will be the most critical factor in determining the sod’s long-term health & green-up rate. Depending on pre-install ground prep, ambient temperatures, weather, and your irrigation schedule, the sod should green back up within the first few weeks with proper water.

If you notice your sod declining versus improving over these next three weeks after increasing your irrigation, please contact us as soon as the decline is observed. Please allow at least 2-3 days post-installation for observable signs of improvement.

Common Causes:

  • Ambient Temperatures 80°F & Up
  • Delayed Installation
  • Improper Installation (gaps, overlapping, etc.)
  • Sod Variety (Bermuda yellows quicker)
  • Soil Condition
  • Shallow Soil Cultivation
  • Soil Compaction
  • Wind Speeds
  • Delayed Irrigation
  • Irrigation Method (Hand watering)
  • Inadequate Water
  • Sloping/Water Runoff
  • Winter Dormancy
  • Edges & Blocks Installed Along Concrete/Hardscaping


  • Day of Delivery Pictures
  • Day of Delivery Contact
  • Proper Ground Prep
  • Prompt Installation
  • Prompt Irrigation
  • Proper Irrigation Method
  • Proper Irrigation Schedule