Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Fix Nitrogen Lawn Burn

By Tracy Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017

Yellow or brown spots can be an eyesore to a pristine lawn. These spots are generally caused by a buildup of nitrogen in the soil. Although nitrogen is required to make the lawn green, a lawn burn is a case of too much of a good thing. The nitrogen buildup may be caused by over-fertilizing your lawn, or it may be caused by urine deposits left by pets. No matter what the source of nitrogen burn marks, fixing the discolored lawn is relatively easy. However, it does take time.

Water your lawn. Nitrogen leeches from the soil quickly. So watering the lawn will help to drive excess nitrogen from the roots of your grass and washes it out of the lawn.

Apply a liquid nitrogen neutralizing product to help remove the nitrogen from the soil.

Rake and remove dead grass from your burned lawn about a month after the patch appears. By this point, the nitrogen will have washed away from the soil.

Loosen the soil with a cultivating tool. Then rake the ground with a garden rake.

Plant grass seed in the bare spot on your lawn and rake the ground to cover the seeds.

Cover the ground with mulch to protect the seed and water with the garden hose. Reseeding the lawn in this way will allow new grass to establish in the burned spots.

Switch to an organic liquid fertilizer that is lower in nitrogen.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Grass seed
  • Organic liquid fertilizer
  • Liquid nitrogen neutralizer

About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.