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How to Repair a Lawn With Too Much Fertilizer

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017
A healthy, green lawn.

Fertilizer is very important to the health of your lawn. Without proper fertilization, your lawn will become thin and scraggly. However, too much fertilizer can pose just as many problems as too little fertilizer. When too much nitrogen (the main component in lawn fertilizer) is added to the soil, grass will yellow, and if the problem is not corrected, the grass will turn brown and die. Nitrogen is easily diluted into the soil, so it is fairly easy to repair a lawn that has received too much fertilizer.

Water your lawn. Apply at least an inch of water over your entire lawn. Use a pan to measure the amount of water applied. Because nitrogen leaches from the soil easily, excessive water will cause it to run off and also drain down into the soil.

Rake and remove any dead grass from your lawn. Once grass turns brown after receiving a fertilizer burn it will not regrow.

Loosen the soil in any areas where the lawn is completely dead and plant grass seed. Gently rake the seed into the top 1/8-inch of soil.

Cover the area with a light covering of compost or mulch. The covering should be no more than 1/4-inch deep.

Water the newly seeded area and keep it moist until the grass seed germinates.

Continue to keep the area moist until the grass is mowed for the first time. New grass can succumb to drought quickly because it has not yet developed an extensive root system.

Follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag strictly to prevent fertilizer burn from recurring.


Things You Will Need

  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Garden hose
  • Pan
  • Garden rake
  • Grass seed
  • Compost or mulch
  • Organic fertilizer


  • Use an organic fertilizer. It is more difficult to over-fertilize with an organic fertilizer.