Are you tired of looking at your once lush and green lawn now turned brown and patchy? Has your grass been scorched by over-fertilization, over-watering, or harsh chemicals? Don’t despair; all is not lost!
With a busy lifestyle, it became increasingly difficult to take care of my lawn. No matter how much I love it, I couldn’t gather the motivation to maintain it. That is until I started noticing that the grass was burning out.
I waited for some time to repair itself, but soon enough, I realized that it was my responsibility. So, I started researching how to fix burnt grass. Burnt grass can be a frustrating problem for homeowners.
It can happen for various reasons, such as over-fertilization, over-watering, or exposure to harsh chemicals.
Interestingly, there are eight proven methods that can be used depending on the cause and depth of the issue. And I have discussed all of them elaborately right here in this article. Other than that, you will also find discussions on causes and some prevention tips.
What Does Burnt Grass Mean?
Burnt grass refers to grass that appears brown, dry, and dead instead of its natural green color. This can happen for various reasons, such as over-fertilization, over-watering, or exposure to harsh chemicals.
The damage to the grass can be caused by chemical burns, waterlogged soil, or a lack of sunlight. Environmental factors, such as drought or extreme heat, can also cause burnt grass.
In some cases, the damage may be irreversible, and the affected areas may need to be reseeded or re-sodded. Due to various reasons, grass can significantly dry out or wither.
This can cause the grass to turn brown in color, or it may turn yellow in patches as well. When this happens, you should conclude that your lawn has burnt grass.
If the issue is with the soil throughout the entire lawn, then all of the grass is going to face the same fate. Otherwise, the problem will remain specific to a spot only. Surely, no matter what the cause, this problem is easily fixable.
What Causes Burnt Grass? – The Various Factors
Various factors can cause burnt grass. Here, I will be discussing those factors with you.
Applying too much fertilizers, or applying the wrong one, can directly harm the soil of the grass. It happens because over-fertilization causes the grass to dry out significantly.
Animal urine, or mostly dog urine, also directly affects the soil. This impacts the pH levels of the soil, causing it to become acidic and in turn, producing burnt grass.
Drought/Scorching Summer Heat
In case of little to no watering in the scorching summer heat, the grass on your lawn will start wilting. The only solution to this is deep watering.
If you are using weed killers or herbicides, then utter cautiousness is necessary. Wrongly used weed killers/herbicides produces burnt grass with white-tipped blades.
Dull Mower Blades
Although they don’t cause burnt grass as much, they can most certainly make the grass more vulnerable to diseases. This, in turn, can cause burnt grass easily.
Some insects, as well as grubs, can cause the grass to become burnt eventually. However, that will be more of a spot problem than a whole lawn problem.
Methods of Fixing Burnt Grass
There are several ways to fix burnt grass–most of which can be easily executed. In this section, I will elaborate on those methods.
1. Deep Water
The most effective method of fixing burnt grass is deep watering the area. Since burnt grass is dry and withered, watering can really help bring life to it. So, every day, try and water the lawn for some time. You can continue it for a few weeks to see the results.
2. Mow the Lawn
In some cases, the grass is only burnt from the tip, and the roots are healthier. In cases like that, you should mow the lawn. Mowing the lawn a few times can help fix the burnt grass. But this will not be optimal during more severe situations.
3. Add Fertilizers
If your grass is burnt due to herbicides, or due to the lack of nutrition and the presence of grubs, then you should add fertilizers. These are essential to the health of grass, so start fertilizing them properly and frequently.
4. Remove Grass from Affected Area
Has your grass been affected by animal urine and such? In that case, you can remove the grass from that particular area. You can also use certain products to fix this issue, such as dog rocks after removing the grass.
5. Plant New Seeds
If nothing is fixing your burnt grass, you can opt for planting new seeds. This can seem more lengthy, but it will surely be effective. Not to mention, it will also result in healthier grass in the long run.
6. Use Sugar
Another effective method that most people are unaware of is using sugar. This ingredient can enrich your lawn soil, giving the grass a boost to turn green eventually. However, you cannot add any fertilizers to it.
7. New Sod
Specific solutions can often be used to solve heat-burned problems, but sometimes they do not work due to the severity of the damage. For such cases, adding new sod is the best option.
When re-sodding, the existing grass that has been heat-burned is removed and a layer of fresh sod is applied.
There is no doubt that this will be a lengthy and difficult project to complete, but once it’s done, it will be completely worthwhile. It is important to take special care of the new sod so that it does not get again burned by the heat.
For small patches or to plant seeds directly, re-sod can also be used for small patches with less effort. As opposed to renovating the entire lawn, it is a simple and much more affordable method of renewing burnt patches.
Sod can be added to your lawn to promote a greener lawn, and new seeds can be planted after the sod is added.
It’s important to pay extra attention to the fixed patches during the initial period, as that’s when they’ll need most of your attention.
Take preventative measures to ensure that heat burn doesn’t occur again; remember that it’s just around the corner. Unless something is done, the whole situation will continue to repeat itself.
Last but not least, fresh sods are fragile and are likely to be damaged. Fertilizers can harm them if they are applied too much. In addition, they require proper irrigation according to their needs.
8. Ensure A Proper Drainage System
Several factors can cause heat-burned grass, as we have mentioned. The drainage system is one of these that plays an indirect role. It is possible for the soil to receive too much or too little water without good drainage functions.
When water drainage systems are clogged, too much water is released and no nutrients are available for grass growth. A malfunctioning drain, however, will result in water shortages in some regions of the lawn.
If you want to determine the cause of the problem, check the burnt patch soil to see if it is drier than the surrounding soil. It is likely that your lawn is experiencing dehydration if that is the case.
As compared to other issues we’ve discussed, this one requires specialized expertise, so it’s not something you can handle by yourself.
For the installation of proper drainage systems, we recommend hiring professionals. A team of professionals in this field will be able to assist you.
Tips For Preventing Burnt Grass
No matter how easy the methods are, fixing burnt grass is no piece of cake. So, you can follow some tips to prevent them in the first place.
If you water your grass regularly, then there will be lower chances of it drying out. And as a result, less chance of burnt grass.
Don’t Cut Grass Too Often
Although you should cut grass if it gets too long, but don’t do it too often, and don’t cut it too short either.
Don’t Walk on Grass
You can take a stroll around your lawn every once in a while – but don’t make a habit out of it.
Keep Animals Out of Your Lawn
Make sure there are fences or other protection to keep the animals out. Animal urine and feces will not just result in burnt grass, but also produce unbearable smell.
Compost and mulch both enrich the soil by enhancing its properties. Therefore, find the rich compost/mulch for your soil.
Reduce Usage of Fertilizers/Weed Killers
Both fertilizers and weed killers serve good purposes but using them too often can dry out the grass. Hence, use them cautiously and only when needed.
Give The Lawn Some Off Time
Having a picnic or playing football on a lawn is a great way to spend time outdoors. You should rest your lawn if it is brown and dry.
In addition to stressing the grass further, each additional step reduces its regenerative capacity and health. Therefore, keep your lawn as healthy as possible. However, lawns that do not grow or that are yellow should not be mowed.
Know When It Is Time To Reseed The Lawn
In some cases, all efforts fail and even watering, fertilizing, and caring does not restore the lawn to its former glory.
Also, “burnt” spots of grass may remain as unsightly patches in the otherwise green turf after the lawn recovers only partially.
There is only one thing that can save a lawn that has been severely damaged in autumn or spring: reseeding. Take preventative measures against the hot summers by using a drought-resistant lawn seed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will scorched grass come back?
Check the roots of your grass – if you see some greenery, then the grass will recover and come back healthier. Otherwise, it would be wiser to remove them.
2. Will burnt grass repair itself?
Burnt grass can repair itself if the problem is due to external issues and not the soil itself. But if the soil is causing the grass to dry out, then you will have to repair them yourself.
3. How do you unburn a lawn?
There are various methods of unburning a lawn. You can deep-water, mow, plant new seeds, add dog rocks, etc. It really depends on what caused the issue and how deep the problem is – you can choose the fix in accordance with all the factors.
Even though it is a little time-consuming, the above process is effective on all types, sizes, and levels of damage to natural grass lawns. Instead of trying to use a lawn patch kit, stick to this plan.
This all-in-one fix may sound appealing, but you should avoid these kits at all costs. If an area has been damaged with fertilizer, don’t apply anything with more fertilizer. You will burn yourself if you play with fire.
Before you invest more in fixing burnt grass, try to get to the root of the problem. Over the six causes discussed here, try to figure out which one might be the culprit in your case.
Then, you can choose the right fix for the cause accordingly and care for your lawn with determination. Soon enough, it will turn green before you realize it.