How to Fix Overfertilized Lawn

Introduction

Have you noticed your lawn looking a little bit sad lately?

Are there brown patches appearing, even though you’ve tended it over and over again to make sure that it’s thriving?

Well, there could be several reasons why this is happening.

If you are noticing large patches of your grass have gone brown despite your numerous attempts to water them consistently, then the chances are you have doused them with much too much fertilizer.

But don’t despair, even though you might have burnt out patches, your garden or lawn is far from ruined.

There are a few quick and easy gardening tips that, if applied correctly and regularly, will return the greenness and lushness of your grass in no time at all.

But what are the main signs of an overfertilized lawn? What tools do you need to have to tackle the task of rejuvenating your lawn back to full health? How can you prevent your lawn from experiencing fertilizer burn again?

Well, lawn-lovers, we have some of the best tips and tricks for restoring your garden, with our step-by-step guide to fixing an overfertilized lawn, as well as some of the main signs of overfertilization and what equipment you’ll need.

Signs of an Overfertilized Lawn

If you apply excessive amounts of fertilizer to your lawn, then you’ll experience what most garden experts call ‘fertilizer burn’.

Fertilizer burn is when the salt and nitrogen levels of the grass increase, which can damage and kill the grass. This manifests itself in brown or yellow strips of dead grass on your lawn.

When your fertilizer is first applied, you’ll be able to detect that you’ve applied too much by simply noticing that the fertilizer will have formed a crust on the surface of the grass.

However, apart from this, some of the main symptoms of fertilizer burn that will be visible only after a few days and will manifest itself in the following ways:

  • The blades of the grass will transform from green to yellow or brown.
  • The roots of the grass will turn black.
  • The grass will grow a lot slower than usual after the fertilizer has been applied.

The reason for the slower rate of growth in your grass is because the excess of salt will not allow the grass to absorb as much water as usual.

What You’ll Need to Fix Your Overfertilized Lawn

Thankfully, there are simple ways you can repair your damaged grass.

First, you’ll need to gather some of the following garden tools:

  • A bag of nutrient-rich compost
  • Grass seeds
  • Topsoil
  • A sprinkler head
  • Garden hose
  • A rake
  • A shovel
  • A wheelbarrow

Most of these tools you should already have in your garden. Items such as compost, grass seed and topsoil can be purchased at your local hardware store. 

Once you have these items, simply follow this guide to restore your lawn to its former glory.

Check the Roots

First, you’ll need to scrutinize how much the fertilizer has damaged your grassroots.

Pulling your grass out of the ground by the blades, you should be able to see the roots.

If your leaves are damaged but the roots are still a healthy brown color, then the chances are that only the leaves have been affected. 

If this is the case, all you need to do is keep watering until the plants repair themselves.

However, if your roots are dead, appearing washed out and brown, then you’ll need to replace the grass wholesale.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Water is the very stuff of life, and whether it’s humans or plants, adding water to the situation can be no bad thing.

No matter how severe the damage to your grass, you should keep watering them throughout. Take your garden hose and sprinkler and water the affected areas evenly to encourage growth.

You should even be watering the healthy parts of your lawn to avoid the damage of the fertilizer spreading and killing off every blade of grass in sight.

The water will also dilute the excess of salt and nitrogen that has built up due to the fertilizer.

To make sure that all the fertilizer is flushed out, you’ll be wanting to add around an inch of water every day for around a week.

Back to Your Roots

Once you’ve completed this cycle of watering, you might expect to see green grass flourishing once again. If not, you might want to go back under the soil and check the roots.

If your roots are still shriveled and brown even after a prolonged period of watering, then you’ll know that they are permanently damaged and will need replacing in the affected areas.

However, even before replacing these overfertilized areas, you’ll have to make sure that all the excess toxins have been completely rinsed from the area to ensure it will thrive afterward.

Raking N’ Tilling

When replacing your dead grass, you’ll need to rake away all the brown or yellowing grass with your rake.

The hard and sharp prongs of the rake are the best way to pull up the damaged roots and give you better access to healthy roots through watering.

Through tilling, you can expose the roots underneath to the extra moisture that they will need to grow.

This process is crucial, as dead grass will prohibit newer roots from growing deeper into the ground.

Resodding and Reseeding

This all depends on how damaged the roots and the soil around them is.

If you have a suspicion that the soil has been exposed to too much fertilizer, then you should dig out the soil with your shovel and replace it with new compost.

Plant your seeds in this compost and then apply the topsoil for added nutrients.

More Watering and Maintaining

Once the new seeds are planted, then resume watering the entirety of the garden. The freshly planted grass will grow a lot quicker if it is well-watered.

Wait until the new grass has grown at least 3 inches high before trying to cut it to the same length as your other grass. This will ensure that the roots of the grass have dug into the soil well.

Dan

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