How to Fix a Burned-Out Area on the Lawn

Overview

It is not uncommon for a lawn to become burned in areas because of excessive pet urination or chemical application. The process of repairing the lawn requires more than just sprinkling some seed on the area. Lawns grow and establish quickly when the soil is prepared and seeded in the spring and fall seasons or sod is installed any month during the growing season as long as the proper amount of water is applied.

Reseed Burned Lawn

Step 1

Mow the lawn to a height of 1 1/2 to 2 inches to remove tall and excess grass surrounding the burned area.

Step 2

Rake the burned area to completely remove dead vegetation so you can visibly see the soil surface. Loosen the soil with a garden rake, hoe or shovel and then smooth with a leaf rake.

Step 3

Fill in any low spots with topsoil. Firm the soil area by packing it with a backside of a shovel or renting a lawn roller for large areas.

Step 4

Spread grass seed over the prepared soil areas by sprinkling with your hand for small areas or using a rolling lawn seeder for large areas. A lawn seeder will ensure a uniform application of seed.

Step 5

Cover the seeded area with straw mulch to prevent seed loss to birds or water runoff. Water the seeded area well after planting and continue to water daily to keep the soil moist until the lawn areas are established.

Repair with Sod

Step 1

Remove dead vegetation from the burned lawn areas to the soil level. Loosen the soil with a garden rake, hoe or shovel, then smooth the area with a rake. Add topsoil to low spots if needed.

Step 2

Outline the burned area with chalk lines to create straight lines around the area needing new grass. Remove all vegetation inside the lines to allow for easy sod application. Smooth the entire area of soil with a rake and gently roll with a lawn roller to pack the soil in place.

Step 3

Purchase fresh sod and install immediately for best results. Water the lawn soil and lay the sod onto the soil, placing each section tightly against the other without overlapping.

Step 4

Roll the newly laid lawn with a lawn roller half-filled water. This will push the sod roots into the soil to initiate growth.

Step 5

Water the sod immediately so the soil underneath is wet but not saturated with water. Continue to water the sod daily for the first two weeks to stimulate strong root growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Mower
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Shovel
  • Topsoil
  • Grass seed
  • Straw mulch
  • Sod
  • Lawn chalk
  • Lawn roller

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Reseeding Bare Spots in Lawns
  • Homeownernet.com: Repair Damaged Lawn Areas
  • University of Illinois Extension: Burned Spot (Lawn Care)
Keywords: fix burned lawn, repair lawn burn, seed burned lawn

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.