Green grass is always the goal for our lawns, but sometimes grass goes dormant. To keep grass green in hot weather, I often resort to using extra water in warm weather and ample fertilizer to keep the entire lawn bright. Occasionally, these techniques to keep grass green backfire and lead to patchy lawns and fertilizer burn.
Heat burn and any other type of grass scorching can lead to a dead lawn and should be fixed right away to prevent the loss of a healthy lawn. In my experience, it is possible to turn burnt grass green, but a full recovery time is hard to pinpoint. No matter what happened to your yard, a deep watering to dilute excess fertilizer and rinse deep roots is the first step to helping burnt grass grow back. Find out the rest of the process and how long it will take below.
How Long for Scorched Grass to Turn Green?
The exact recovery time for your grass species to turn burnt grass green depends on your type of grass and what a lack of water will do in your climate. With fertilizer burn and heat burn, grass can lose its green color at the tips, or the entire blade could die. With a vulnerable type of grass and badly-heat burnt grass, even the roots could die. The dead grass will not come back, and no matter how much you amend or water, you cannot turn the grass green again.
If just the tips of the blades of grass are burnt in summer or after applying a weed and fertilizer treatment, then you can repair your lawn in as little as 8 days. Stop the treatment and water deeply to refresh your lawn in no time. When drought and excess sunlight or chemicals cause damage, a slightly burnt lawn can be treated easily and quickly as long as you have access to ample water for lawns in summer.
For more severely burnt lawns, you make need to do more work to get the green color back. Some grass species cannot come back from fertilizer burns or heat burns and will succumb and need to be completely replanted. Other turfs that are given excess fertilizer can bounce back with a supplemented lawn irrigation schedule for a scorched lawn.
A lawn that is recovering from excess fertilizer or badly-heat burnt grass down to the soil level can recover as a green lawn in about 4 weeks if given the right remedies.
Sometimes you will end up with a dead lawn, and no applications of water are going to bring it back. If you need to resow grass seed, it will take 1 to 4 months to see a green lawn. If you plant grass in spring, you may see green growth in less than a month however, if you sow grass in winter, it should take up to 4 months to pop up. Warm-season grass types grow faster than cool-season varieties unless it is winter or unusually wet.
How to Tell Your Lawn is Burnt?
Outside of the dormant season, cool-season grasses should pretty much be green and vibrant. Likewise, other than cool winter months, summer turf should be looking green and lush. If you start to see any yellowing or discoloration, especially after applying fertilizer, you may need to treat your yard fast. Brown patches appearing in an otherwise healthy lawn can also be an indicator that something is wrong.
Grass browning can be the start of scorched turf and may be a sign that the grassroots are in danger. Deeply watering can help to prevent a dead lawn and stop a lawn with nitrogen burns from spreading. A scorched lawn looks like it was lit on fire and may not even have weeds remaining. Reduce the nitrogen fertilizer burns and deeply water to prevent yellowing regrowth that is common in dead lawns.
Causes of Burnt Grass
Your grass has turned brown, and you don’t know why. Resowing can be expensive, and plugs that die when you plant them can be frustrating. You need to correct the problem that is burning your lawn, or else no amount of redoing your turf will be successful. The first thing to do is find the cause of your dead lawn.
Usually, the cause is easy to determine if it is hot or you recently applied to fertilize or herbicide. But if all of a sudden your regular lawn is turning brown when it’s not heat or drought-stressed or when you have done your routine healthy lawn maintenance practices, you could be looking at more serious lawn issues.
|Fungal Infection||Clumps of dead grass in unhealthy areas of lawn||Browning in the center of the infected area and dead grasses spreading outward in a circle|
|Drought||Dry tips and browning on slopes and high points||Shallow roots dry up and die, while deep roots allow the grass blades to die; the roots go dormant in the summer months|
|High Temperatures||Summer heat can cook grass that is now watered deeply and will tune your entire lawn brown||Soil compaction and weed growth are common in high temperatures when the quantity of water is reduced or restricted|
|Wrong Sun Exposure||Shaded grass browning or full sun grass browning outside of dormant seasons||Too much sun on shade-loving grass will burn it. Sun-loving grasses that are blocked from the sun may turn brown but are more likely to turn pale green and wither.|
|Incorrect Fertilization||Too much fertilizer or not enough nitrogen and even the wrong type of nutrients could kill your grass||Tall grass that falls over, pale grass, and yellow, dying grass can all be the results of incorrect fertilization|
|Animal Urine||Brown and yellow spots appeared randomly throughout the yard and near structures||The urine contained urea which is concentrated ammonia and also converts to nitrogen. The acid of the urine can cause an initial color change, and the excess nitrogen will kill the roots over time|
|Contamination and Pollution||Dead and brown grass near roadways and paths as well as around gardens and other plants||herbicide runoff, road salt, and other chemicals can leech into your lawn and kill your grass|
Many of the causes of burnt turf have to do with the weather. Hot summer months will put stress on any turf, and improper lawn maintenance or other factors can kill your lawn. There is little forgiveness for lawn damage when the sun is hot, and extra water and a longer watering could be needed to keep your lawn alive. Just because the watering schedule worked last year doesn’t mean things don’t need to be adjusted. Protect your lawn from the elements to keep grass from dying and looking burnt.
Fertilizing your lawn is important to keep it green and encourage healthy, vibrant growth. It can be tempting to add a little more fertilizer than is called for because more is better right?
If anything, it is better to under-fertilize and make up the difference with organic compost that will not burn your turf no matter how it is applied. Fertilizing at the wrong time can also affect your lawn color and appearance negatively.
Animal urine can also contribute to yellow and brown grass and lasting damage to the roots of your turf. If it is your pet causing the problem, you can consider watering the areas after they go or designate a spot for them to use that you maintain. Some turfs that thrive in grasslands do alright with extra fertilization, so can replace turf that is unable to cope with animal traffic.
Anything that comes from outside your lawn and contaminants can be considered as an environmental factor for lawn browning. One of the most common environmental stresses for our turf is fungal infections. The roots give way to a harmful type of fungus in the soil that is likely present due to poor watering or aeration practices.
Once the roots are dead, the grass browns and needs to be replaced. Killing off the fungus with a natural fungicide like corn gluten meal can make your replanting more successful.
Pollution from the road and pathways can also kill your turf and give it a burnt appearance. Chemicals from cars and household tasks that make it into the lawn may be hazardous to the turf. Herbicides that are applied incorrectly can also wipe out a lawn if not diluted immediately with large amounts of water. Keep your lawn free of impurities, and your turf will have a better chance of surviving burn scares effectively.