Why Does my Lawn Smell Bad

A smelling lawn is an embarrassing situation for any homeowner. It is a sign of trouble in paradise. 

It’s unsettling to have a lawn that smells like an animal ban. Worse still, if it smells like sewage. It’s a barbeque spoiler. You can’t dare bring your friends over. Nor raise a family in such an awful smelling yard.

 Relax. You can breathe a sigh of relief!! The foul odor is fixable. 

But you must ask yourself, why does my lawn smell bad? The article lets you know the reasons that may cause foul smells; and how to fix them. 

Why Does My Lawn Smell Bad- 4 Reasons

1. Waste from pets and other animals

Your pets can be a nuisance to your lawn. Your lovely pets like dogs, cats, and others may leave various kinds of waste on the lawn. Pet dander, droppings, and urine leave stains and odors on your lawn

As a responsible pet owner, keep your pets off the grass. It keeps the lawn from pet stains and odors. In case you have a dog run or chicken coop, maintain it rigorously.

It will prevent hay and other materials from falling on the lawn.

2. Compost Pile

Research found that compost pile has an awful smell due to poor aeration. Additionally, the odor can be overwhelming if the compost has excess water.

Thus, leaving the compost for too long makes the stench widely stronger. 

Frequently mix the compost to hinder bacteria, mold, and fungal growth. The Yard Butler Compost Aerator can be handy for faster aeration of the pile.

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Besides, you should cover your compost bin whenever it rains. It reduces the accumulation of excess water. 

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3. Poor Lawn Drainage 

A flat lawn with no tilt prevents water from flowing efficiently. It can easily lead to puddling, mushy soil. Eventually, it becomes a mix of mold, bacteria, and fungi.  The mixture has a gross odor.

Poor lawn drainage can also make your lawn smell like sewage. A broken sewage system under the lawn can cause a stench.

However, the sewage stench is also typical when it rains.

Methane gas from septic tanks gets trapped low on the ground when it rains, making the lawn have a sewage odor. 

You can fix poor lawn drainage issues in two ways. 

  • Proper landscaping. A practical landscape should allow the lawn to tilt slightly towards the driveway, if possible. It helps excess water flow off easily.
  • Contact your plumber. If the sewage odor persists beyond rainy moments-it may be a sign of sewage line drainage issues below the lawn and the house. 

4. Overwatering of your lawn

Overwatering your lawn leads to high water bills and foul odor. Excessive watering of grass soaks up the soil.

It turns soil into a mushy puddle. In turn, it helps bacteria grow and spread.

The bacteria growth is associated with an awful smell. 

Water-clogged lawns can also lead to moss growth.  Moss inhibits the uptake of nutrients by grass. Additionally, they’ll ruin the grass with brown spots leaving a gross smell. 

You can fix the issue by using these tips;

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on lawn bad smell

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about bad smells on lawns.

Why does my lawn smell bad?

Your lawn smells gross because of the rotting compost pile, grass, or sewage leaks.

Why does my yard smell like poop?

Animal droppings and sewage leaks cause a poop smell in the yard. 

Why does my yard smell like sewage when it rains?

Rain prevents the methane gas from your septic tank from rising quickly. It keeps methane gas low due to low atmospheric pressure during rain.

As a result, it gets trapped on the lower ground. Therefore, the lawn will smell like sewage. 

Why does cut grass smell bad?

A clogged and poorly aerated grass will begin to rot. The roots will rot first, giving out an awful smell.

Why does grass smell like manure?

The smell of manure comes from grass starting to rot. The rotting gives out the manure smell. Grass clippings after mowing can also lead to low aeration and block sunlight.

As a result, it provides an ideal condition for rotting. The smell can also be like a dead animal. Similarly, the decaying of the compost material causes that.  

How to stop grass clippings from smelling

Dispose of grass clippings to the compost bin after mowing your lawn. Alternatively, you can place dry leaves below them to ensure aeration. 

How to get rid of decomposing grass smell

Mix the compost pile using aerators. Aerators like the Crank Compost Aerator allow fast aeration and sunlight. 

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How to get rid of the bad lawn odor? 

You can neutralize foul odors in various ways. You can use spray the lawn using a mix of baking powder and water. The ratio is one teaspoon of baking powder per a quarter gallon of water.

You should then apply a natural deodorizer after addressing stain odors.
The Amazing Outdoor Deodorizer-Natural Enzyme Formula can be helpful.

It removes foul odors from your chicken poo, dog runs, and others. Also, the product is friendly to pets and people.

Thus, it can handle both your stain and odor cleaning needs. 

Your smelly lawn should not be a nuisance anymore. Try and figure out why your lawn smells bad. Then fix what is causing the foul odor.

A compost, pet waste, overwatering, and sewage drainage issues can cause foul smells.

Get an odor remover after fixing the problem. A natural deodorizer will help bring back the pleasant fragrance of your lawn.

Now you have the power to revive the barbeque!!


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care.

    bwambugi@gmail.com K Beatrice

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