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Home > Learn > Lawn burnt from fertilizer

You applied the fertilizer to your lawn and a few days later come out to see brown patches of dead grass all over it. No one goes out intending to damage their grass, but a miscalculation or misguided belief in that “more is better” can cause irreparable harm to the sod. Nitrogen burns, or fertilizer burns, happen when you use too much fertilizer on your lawn. It’s hard to predict how badly the grass was burned by the nitrogen, there are too many factors involved including the type of fertilizer that was used, and how quickly you respond. How well the lawn recovers will depend on the latter factor.


When you over-fertilize the grass, the mineral salts, which fertilizers are made up of, cause the grass to dry out when too much build-up occurs in the soil, leaving you with yellow and brown patches all over the lawn.

To minimize and try to repair the damage: WATER YOUR LAWN!

First, if there is any fertilizer remaining on the lawn, sweep it up or vacuum to remove it from the grass. Soak the area until the ground can’t absorb any more, then water it deeply every day for at least a week to dilute and flush out the excessive mineral salts. As you keep watering your lawn with generous amounts of water, yellow and sometimes even brown grass will bounce back and recover in time.


There is nothing else you can do but to wait and see if the grass begins to recover from the damage.


Dog urine spots can be treated the same way: flush out the spot that was used immediately with a lot of water to dilute the nitrogen. Responding quickly is the key to minimizing the burn.

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What to do if you burn the lawn with fertilizer

Wet grass

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