Warm summer nights are for sitting outside with family and friends, soaking in the warmth from your fire pit, and catching up on the day. A fire pit is an interesting addition to your outdoor space, not only to create the campfire ambiance but also to provide warmth and for doing some roasting.
In this post, we will help you understand the answer to what to put under a fire pit on grass?
But fire is fire, and so you want to be careful about where and how you place your fire pit. Naturally, you don’t want to ruin any of your landscaping, and certainly not leave a scorch mark on your manicured lawn that will take all summer to disappear.
How to Protect the Grass Underneath Your Fire Pit
What to Put Under a Fire Pit on Grass
Patio slabs are the most effective option to use as surfaces for a fire pit. Slabs are very flat and stable, and they will readily absorb any heat conducted or radiated from the fire pit, protecting your lawn from becoming scorched. Additionally, the flat surface evenly distributes the weight of the pit, reducing the risk of crushing the grass below.
Arrange your patio slabs according to the shape, size, and number of legs on your fire pit. Each leg should be standing on one patio slab. Once you’re sure that the pit is stable, you can fill the pit with wood, briquettes, or whichever fuel source you’re using. Check that the fire pit is stable again, and then you can light your fire.
Once you’re done, leave the pit in place overnight – DO NOT attempt to move or touch it as fire pits can heat up to a whopping 1200°C depending on their external material. If you want to use it for a few days consecutively, you can leave it on the same spot, but this flattens the grass. An alternative is to move the pit to a different flat spot each evening.
In the absence of patio slabs, invest in a portable heat shield. Heat shields are not just made for use on grass – you can place them on composite or wooden decks, concrete surfaces, and other floor surfaces. Regardless of the location of the fire pit, putting a heat shield under the pit will protect the surface from fire and heat damage.
Heat shields are fairly portable and easy to use. No assembly is needed; simply place one under the fire pit on a flat surface, and light your fire without any worry. However, heat shields are only recommended for use with fire pits, not as a direct surface on which to place a burning fire.
When buying a heat shield, choose a high-quality brand, and remember to check the shield’s maximum capacity. If the heat exceeds its capacity, you risk damaging the heat shield itself and the surface underneath.
Heat shields are portable, but they can still be bulky depending on where you want to use them. On backpacking or camping trips, for instance, they are bulky unless you’re car camping; use a fire-resistant mat instead. You can easily fold and stuff it into your bag – it is compact when folded and doesn’t get damaged.
Fire-resistant mats are also easy to set up – just lay it on the grass or other surface and place your fire over it. They are made for direct fires, so you won’t burn the mat if your fire pit accidentally topples over. The mats are also bigger than heat shields, so you can protect a large surface around the fire. A single fire-resistant mat can hold three fire pits!
Bonus Tips for Lawn Protection
Getting the right surface is only the first step in keeping your lawn protected. Even with a heat protection surface, below are a few tips to remember to keep your lawn completely protected from potential damage.
Eliminate the Risks
Always ensure the surface on which the fire pit will sit is well balanced and sturdy – you don’t want it to topple and start a fire or hurt someone.
Start by choosing a light outdoor fire pit, which won’t exert too much weight on the surface below and cause flattening or discoloring. Next, ensure that you choose a spot of ground that is completely level so that the surface under the pit remains steady.
Clear away any twigs, cuttings, and other debris to make the surface completely flat and remove potential combustibles near the fire pit.
Have a fire extinguisher or water hose close anytime you light a fire around your home. Should debris fly out onto the lawn, you can quell the fire immediately.
Use a hose to wet the grass under your fire pit completely, as well as the area surrounding the pit. Wet grass is harder to burn than dry grass.
Never use any fuel in your fire pits, such as lighter fluid or gasoline, or you could create a fire too big for the pit. Instead, light your fires using a simple matchbox and dry twigs, papers, wood shavings, or dry leaves.
Now you know how to place a fire pit on your lawn without risking damage to the lush greenery below the pit. If you go for store-bought products, be sure to check reviews thoroughly and pick the brands with the highest customer satisfaction.
And finally, never leave a burning or smoldering fire unattended. Take care to put out the fire completely before going back indoors.
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