Is the grass on your lawn turning yellow or brown in color or are there any brown patches? Well, your turf is likely experiencing grass burn.
At this point, you may be wondering if your lawn is dead or if it is beyond repair, but there’s no need to break a sweat just yet because brown spots in a green lawn can in most cases be fixed.
The first thing however to do is to determine the reason for the burnt grass whether it’s heat burns in the hot summer months, fertilizer burns, or dog urine.
What Exactly Does Burnt Grass Look Like?
Burnt grass is just that, grass that looks burnt with fire. Technically, burnt grass can also refer to grass burned by a fire, but since CrabgrassLawns.com provides expert advice on lawn care, I am referring to spots in your lawn that have turned brown.
What Causes Burnt Grass?
Finding the cause of burnt grass in your lawn and why grass turns a different color can be a bit tricky, but here are some clues to help you determine the reason.
- If the tips of your grass blades are turning brown, then the cause is likely either excess nitrogen or heat burn.
- There can be several causes of brown spots on your lawn like dog urine or animal urine that cause roughly 6″ to 10″ straw-colored patches, and poor soil quality where the soil pH may be too high. acidic, or a sprinkler issue if you have one or larger distinct patches.
- Brown patches with white-tipped grass blades could indicate a chemical burn issue, where a weed killer or herbicide was used improperly and has spread to other plants.
- Insects and grubs can cause larger patches of dead or dormant grass.
- Strips of patchy brown grass are generally caused by overfertilizing with nitrogen fertilizer, applying excess fertilizer, or applying the wrong fertilizer for your soil condition.
- If your entire lawn is turning brown or wilting, It’s probably going dormant during the summer heat (cool-season grasses) or it needs deep watering.
- Believe it or not, dull mower blades can also your turf to have a brown cast or look ragged and can make your lawn more susceptible to disease.
Will Burnt Grass Ever Come to Life?
The answer to will burnt grass ever come to life depends on the extent of the burns. Burnt grass caused by excess or nitrogen can be saved if the grass blades are vibrant green and are growing way too fast (early stage), burns on the tips of the grass blades (middle stage), or the grass blades are turning yellow or brown.
You should also take a look at the roots including deep roots to check if they are healthy because healthy roots mean that the grass will regrow.
How to Fix Burnt Grass from Fertilizer?
If the burnt grass is caused by fertilizer aka fertilizer burn from fertilizer application, the good news is that there are several ways to fix the issue.
Even though the signs of fertilizer burn vary by severity, one tell-tale indicator is discoloration. When your lawn is affected by mild fertilizer burn, your turf will start to turn slightly yellow or have brown streaks.
Your grass will turn a shade of brown or tan when it’s affected by severe fertilizer burn. Fertilizer burn can be a serious issue but doesn’t mean a death sentence for your turf.
The easiest way to check whether burnt grass from fertilizer can be repaired is by taking a look at the root system. If the roots appear flexible, moist and in overall good health, there’s a good chance you don’t have a dead lawn but can repair the burnt grass in your turf.
The recovery time will however depend on the severity of the grass burns, and the first thing to do to kick things off is water, water, and water.
You have to continuously water to get rid of the excess salt in the soil for at least a couple of weeks. With regards to how much water, apply about an inch per day only to the affected area, because applying water to your entire lawn could cause fungal disease and several other problems.
Check the roots once again in about a week to see if the roots have responded to the watering and if the grass is showing signs of going back to its vibrant, green color or healthy green growth.
If the condition of the roots has gotten worse since the watering or has died, your only option is to replace the affected grass, and there’s a right way and wrong way of going about this task.
The right process of repairing grass with fertilizer burn is by removing the old grass, preparing the soil including tilling or aerating, laying the sod or reseeding, water and waiting, and lastly mowing and maintenance.
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure” and spot-on lawn advice for preventing fertilizer burn is to stick with slow-release fertilizers, especially for larger-care fertilization. Fast-release lawn care products are a great way to quickly add nutrients to your soil including clay soil and compacted soil, but this immediate release of nutrients when you overfertilize can have adverse effects on your turf.
How to Fix Burnt Grass Caused by Dog Urine?
Most people believe that dog urine creates brown dead patches of grass owing to its low pH level, but this isn’t the case. Dog urine in fact contains a high concentration of nitrogen, which even though an important nutrient for plant growth, can harm your grass and cause dead patches when applied in excess.
There are a plethora of ways to fix brown patches of grass resulting from dog urine:
- Start with raking as much dead grass and debris as possible.
- Next, improve the grass growing conditions in the area by applying a thin layer of ground limestone and watering it thoroughly. Make sure you keep your furry pal away from this area while the limestone works its magic. Let this limestone coating rest for roughly a week.
- After a week, apply another thin layer of limestone to the area.
- Spread grass seed over the area. Check the weather before spreading grass seeds because rain and wind can wash/blow them away.
- Water the area deeply daily for 1 to 2 weeks.
Keep your doggo away from the area during the grass-growing process. You can also buy dog urine lawn damage prevention products and apply them over a period of time.
PettiGreen is formulated to improve the condition of your soil and its overall health. It works well to reduce the size of the dog pee spots and takes approximately 4 to 6 months after application to prevent new urine spots.
- Improves the environment of your soil which improves the overall health, color and growth of your lawn.
- Improved lawn growth and reducting in the size of pee spots is generally seen after a couple of months. Prevention of new urine spots generally takes 4 to 6 months.
- 32 ounce bottle covers 9000 Sq. Ft. Application every 6 weeks is recommended to build soil biology so new spots can be prevented..
Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-10-02
Dog Rocks is yet another safe and effective product for eliminating dog urine spots from your lawn. These rocks are made from naturally occurring paramagnetic igneous rocks, which when used properly prevent burn marks and yellow spots caused by your paw-pal’s urine.
You can prevent burnt grass damage from dog urine by hosing the area down with water as soon as your dog has done its business, hydrating your dog so it will have less concentrated urine, try wet dog food as it accelerates your pooch’s water consumption, dog urine sample test and regular lawn care even in the hot summer months and winter months.
- All-Natural Solution – Dog Rocks are made from naturally occurring paramagnetic igneous rocks mined in Australia and prevent burn marks and yellow spots caused by your dog’s pee when used properly.
Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-10-02
How to Fix Burnt Grass Caused by High Heat Temperatures?
Grass, just like all other plants needs sunlight to survive, but direct sunlight exposure can scorch your turf.
Direct sun exposure for extended periods of time can cause stress on your turf.
If your lawn is experiencing heat burn caused by hot weather, a critical step to take is to water the lawn as deep as 5 inches to 6 inches and early in the morning.
Performing certain lawn care tasks at the wrong time of day such as mowing the lawn in the afternoon can also cause stress on your lawn.
Regardless of whether you live in a warm climate or a cooler climate, the best time to mow your lawn is in the mid-morning and it’s important to avoid mowing dormant grass.
Mowing your lawn in a cool morning temperature, which is typically between 8 am and 10 am allows enough time for the dry, resulting in strong, perky blades.
How to Fix Burnt Grass Caused by Herbicides?
Apart from extreme warm weather and excessive heat, herbicide injury is yet another leading cause of burnt grass on your lawn. While herbicides work well to maintain a healthy lawn free of any weeds, misuse of a herbicide can quickly result in brown lawns full of dead grass.
To fix herbicide burns, you’ll need:
Here are the steps:
- Remove the charred grass with a metal rake or hoe,
- Add compost to improve the quality of the soil in that area,
- Spread the right grass seeds in the area,
- Water the newly seeded area generously.
It’s often too late to reverse herbicide damage and the only thing you can do is plant new grass seeds in the area.
Finally, here is a video summarizing the different reasons for burnt grass and how to fix it:
Burnt grass can be caused by one or more reasons, and in some situations can be fixed. In worse cases, you’ll just have to reseed the area and follow the right lawn maintenance program to prevent further issues like burnt grass.
Hi, Alex Kuritz here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.