How to Fix Burnt Grass From Fire Pit: 9 Tips to Restore Lawn

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Dealing with burnt grass from a fire pit can be a frustrating experience for homeowners. The two primary causes of burnt grass are heat burn from the open flame and heat burn from the fire pit base.

This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix burnt grass from fire pits, address common questions about burnt grass, and provide tips on avoiding such issues in the future.

Causes of Burnt Grass from a Fire Pit

burned grass from fire pit

Burnt grass from a fire pit can result from two causes: heat from the open flame and heat from the base of the fire pit. 

A heat burn from the open flame occurs when the direct heat from the fire scorches the grass, leading to unsightly brown spots. It typically happens when the fire pit is placed directly on the grass without any protective measures.

On the other hand, heat burn from the fire pit base occurs due to improper positioning or inadequate clearance. When the fire pit is placed too close to the grass or lacks proper ventilation, the intense heat radiating from the base can cause damage to the surrounding area.

Both types of heat burn can damage your lawn, resulting in dead or brown patches that require restoration. By understanding these causes, you can take the necessary precautions to prevent future damage and ensure the long-term health of your grass. 

How to Fix Burnt Grass from Fire Pit

how to treat burnt grass from fire

Assess the Damage and Remove Any Debris

Before starting the repair process, carefully assess how fire pits ruin grass patches. Look for areas with burnt or dead grass, debris, or ashes that may be present. Remove any debris using a rake or garden gloves to create a clean surface for the repair work. You may also need other tools, like a garden hose or shovels.

Remove the Dead and Burned Grass Patch

Removing the dead and burned patches is a must to begin repairing the burnt grass. Use a garden spade or shovel to cut out the damaged area, ensuring you remove both the dead grass and the underlying roots. Make clean and even edges for blending with the surrounding grass. Dispose of the removed grass in a compost pile or green waste bin.

Aerate the Soil Underneath

how to recover burnt grass

Aeration is crucial to revitalizing the soil and promoting healthy grass growth. Use a garden fork or aerator tool to create holes throughout the affected area. This process allows air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots, enhancing their regeneration ability. Ensure to aerate the entire damaged area, including the surrounding healthy grass, to improve overall soil quality.

Add a Layer of Organic Matter

Applying a layer of organic matter such as compost, manure, or topsoil can benefit the recovery of your grass. Spread a thin layer of the chosen organic matter over the repaired area, ensuring it is level with the surrounding ground. This layer will improve soil structure, retain moisture, and provide essential nutrients for the growing grass. Gently rake the organic matter to distribute it evenly.

Seed the Affected Area or Replace It with Sod

Depending on the damage size, you can seed it or opt for a sod replacement. Seeding is an economical and effective solution if the damaged area is small. Choose a high-quality grass seed that matches your existing lawn. Follow the instructions on the seed packaging to determine the appropriate seeding rate and apply the grass seeds evenly over the repaired area. Lightly rake the soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

If the damage is extensive or you desire quicker results, replacing the damaged area with sod is a viable option. Obtain sod that matches your grass and cut it to fit the repaired area. Press the sod firmly into the prepared soil, ensuring it is level with the surrounding grass. Water the sod thoroughly after installation.

Lightly Cover the Newly Seeded Area

how to repair burnt grass

To protect the newly seeded or sodded area and promote optimal germination:

  1. Lightly cover it with a thin layer of organic matter such as compost or peat moss. This layer will help retain moisture and provide a protective barrier against birds, wind, and other potential threats.
  2. Avoid covering the seeds or sod too deeply; this can impede their growth.
  3. Keep the covered area moist during the germination and establishment phases.

Water regularly and monitor

Proper watering is crucial for burnt-grass recovery. Water the repaired area regularly, ensuring the soil remains moist but not soggy. Depending on the weather conditions, this may require watering once or twice a day for short durations. Monitor the repaired area closely and adjust the watering frequency as needed. As the new grass grows, gradually reduce the watering frequency while ensuring adequate hydration.

Avoid Mowing Until the Grass Has Grown 3–4 Inches In Height

Patience is key when it comes to mowing the repaired area. Avoid mowing until the new grass has reached a height of 3–4 inches. This ensures that the grassroots have established a strong foundation. When mowing, set the blade height to a higher setting to avoid scalping the new growth. Regular mowing can resume once the grass has reached the recommended height.

Fertilize to Promote Healthy Growth

After the repaired area has shown signs of healthy growth, consider fertilizing to provide essential nutrients for sustained development. Choose a balanced fertilizer suitable for your grass type and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure even distribution across the repaired area. Regular fertilization, proper watering, and maintenance will help the grass regain strength and vitality.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Fix Burnt Grass

fire pit burning lawn

Will grass grow back after being burned?

Yes, grass can grow back after being burned if the damage is not too severe. Using repair methods, such as removing dead grass, aerating the soil, and providing adequate care, will promote grass recovery.

How long does a grass burn take to heal?

The healing time for a grass burn can vary depending on factors such as grass type, repair methods, and environmental conditions. The grass may take a few weeks to months to fully recover and fill the damaged areas.

Does sugar help burnt grass?

Sugar does not help burnt grass grow back. The key to restoring the grass is to provide proper care, including watering, aeration, organic matter, and suitable grass seed or sod.

Will watering help burnt grass?

Watering is essential for recovering burnt grass if it hasn’t burned to the roots. Regular deep watering promotes grass regrowth and ensures the repaired area remains adequately hydrated.

Should you put sand in the bottom of a fire pit?

Putting sand in the bottom of a fire pit can help with heat distribution and protect the fire pit from excessive heat. However, it is crucial to note that the sand at the bottom may not prevent heat damage to the grass surrounding the fire pit. Other protective measures, like fire pit mats, are recommended.

How do you tell if you burned your grass?

Burnt grass exhibits signs such as discoloration, browning, or dead patches. If you notice these symptoms, they point to fire pit burns.

How to Avoid Future Burnt Grass

how to revive burnt grass

Choosing the Correct Type of Fire Pit

Selecting the right type of fire pit is crucial to preventing damage to your grass. Various options, like a compact or portable fire pit, are available. Two recommended fire pit types that are safer and easier to use are propane gas fire pits and fire pit tables with built-in heat shields. These options provide controlled and contained flames, reducing the risk of heat burns on your lawn.

Selecting an Ideal Location for the Fire Pit

When choosing a fire pit location, you should consider the following factors: 

  • First, ensure the fire pit is away from flammable objects, such as trees, shrubs, or buildings, to minimize the risk of accidental fires.
  •  Take into account factors like heat radiance and pit height. Use a fire pit mat or heat-resistant materials such as pavers or a layer of sand under the fire pit to protect the grass from direct heat.

Preparing the Ground for the Fire Pit

Before placing the fire pit, preparing the ground is essential. Clear the area of any flammable debris, such as dry leaves or grass clippings. Consider using a fire pit mat or a layer of sand to create a heat shield between the fire pit and the grass. These measures will help prevent heat damage to the grass and ensure a safer and more enjoyable fire pit experience.

Maintaining a Safe Distance Between Flame and Grass Area

Create a buffer zone to maintain a safe distance between the flame and the grass surrounding the fire pit. Use non-flammable materials like gravel, stone, or concrete to create a clear separation between the fire pit and the grass. This buffer zone will act as a protective barrier, reducing the risk of heat burn. Regularly inspect and maintain the buffer zone to ensure the flame does not extend beyond the designated area and come into contact with the grass.


Preventing burnt grass from a fire pit involves:

  • Choosing the right fire pit type.
  • Selecting an ideal location.
  • Preparing the ground.
  • Maintaining a safe distance between the flame and the grass area.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a fire pit while preserving the health and appearance of your lawn. Remember, taking preventive measures is always better than dealing with the aftermath of burnt grass. You can create a safe and inviting outdoor space for relaxation and entertainment with proper precautions.

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