How to Plant Grass on a Burn


One of the worst blemishes in an otherwise neatly manicured green lawn is what's called a "burn," a portion of the lawn scorched by the sun and left yellow, brown or even bare. Obviously the damaged grass must be cut out and replaced, but certain steps must be taken to avoid the same thing happening over and over again.

Step 1

Dig out the damaged portion of your lawn with a shovel. Be sure to get all the roots and other debris out of the way. Dig at least 4 inches deep, to make sure you get all the old grass growth out, and just past the yellow or brown area.

Step 2

Rake the area with a garden fork and add about 2 inches of topsoil to bring the bare patch level with the surrounding ground. It's always a good idea to give new plantings a fresh start with some nutritious, healthy soil.

Step 3

Spread a thin, half-inch layer of organic fertilizer, like steer manure or peat moss, over the patch of dirt where your yellow or brown lawn had been. Water thoroughly and let sit overnight.

Step 4

Cut the new sod with a shovel, making straight, clean cuts, and then lay the pieces into the burn area, on top of the layer of fertilizer. Make the pieces as big as you can, and butt them up tightly against each other. If you have a large burn area, lay down as many full squares of sod as you can and then cut smaller pieces to fill in the burn area. Sprinkle a thin line of topsoil along the seams and stamp in with your feet until the entire area has been stamped at least three or four times. Water thoroughly immediately and then daily for at least 2 weeks. Give the newly planted lawn a good soaking.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't use any artificial fertilizers or pesticides, which can kill useful organisms in the soil that make your grass stronger and more resilient to sun damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden fork
  • Topsoil
  • Organic fertilizer
  • New grass (sod)
  • Water


  • Lawn Care
  • Plant Care
Keywords: how to plant grass on a burn, treating sun-scorched lawns, repairing burned lawns

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.