The right fertilizer rate plays a crucial role in building a healthy lawn. Excess fertilizer application on your lawn can increase the nitrogen and salt concentration in the soil. In the worst-case scenario, it can cause fertilizer burn, which kills the grass. You will have to plant new grass to build your lawn again. You can spot the brown and burnt patches of grass if you have over-used fertilizers. The problem here is that you don’t see the symptoms instantly. If you have applied fertilizer in large volumes, you will see the changes in the grass color and the formation of patches a day or two after the application.
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Once the grass starts turning yellow and brown, it is very difficult to restore the grass. That’s why immediate action is necessary if you want to reverse the damage. The good news is that if you catch the problem soon, you can fix it easily. It’s possible to save an over-fertilized lawn so long as you notice the damage and take action quickly. Let’s see what you can do to repair an over-fertilized lawn.
Applying too much fertilizer on the lawn can turn the grass yellow initially. It is an instant reaction to the stress caused by fertilizer. A few days later, the grass will turn brown as it dies. That happens because of the mineral salts in the fertilizers that can dry the grass. Besides that, fertilizers contain a high concentration of nitrogen. And, nitrogen in a fast-release form can burn the grass easily. You should always use fertilizers with nitrogen in a slow-release form to prevent any damage to your lawn due to excess nitrogen.
First things first, check the damage. If you think you have applied too much fertilizer, check the grassroots in different sections of your lawn instantly to get a better idea of how much damage it has caused. If the grassroots look healthy and green, there’s nothing to worry about. Your lawn is safe. Just wash it with water and the grass will bounce back. If there’s a problem, the grassroots will appear dry and yellowish.
If you have been using fertilizers on your lawn for a while, you must already know how your grass reacts to these chemicals. Equal and appropriate application of fertilizer will kill weeds and restore the color of your grass. However, if it’s applied in excess amounts, the fast-release nitrogen combined with a high salt level can burn your lawn. Mostly, people know when they have applied more fertilizer than what’s required. You either spill the fertilizer in one spot or apply excess fertilizer across the entire lawn. Either way, it is easy to inspect if you have over-fertilized your lawn.
Grab a vacuum or a broom and remove excess fertilizer. The sooner you take action, the higher the chances you can reverse the damage due to over-fertilizing your lawn. It’s easier to prevent the grass from turning yellow or brown when you have applied fertilizer to a dry lawn. That’s because the chemicals are not absorbed into the grass if it’s not wet.
Once you are done vacuuming, water the grass immediately. Or, if you can’t remove the fertilizer, just wash the lawn with water. Grab your garden hose and wash the area exposed to the fertilizer. The moment you see the first sign of lawn burn, water the grass. You need to ensure that the ground is saturated. Washing the lawn will cause the mineral salt to dilute and go deeper into the soil.
Depending on how much fertilizer you have used, you might need to water the grass every morning for a week to minimize the damage. In fact, people say that you should water the grass until the water doesn’t penetrate the soil anymore. You could attach a sprinkler to your garden hose for effective water application throughout the lawn. Or, you can water only the area where you have applied excess fertilizer.
Sprinkling water every day will not only keep your lawn healthy and the grass green, but it can reverse the damage caused by excess salt and nitrogen levels. Make sure that 7-14 days of watering is a must if you are sure you have used excess fertilizer. Even then, there is a risk the grass in the affected area will die due to the increase in salt and nitrogen level. Your last resort is to replant the affected area.
If it’s small damage or you have spilled excess fertilizer at one spot only, you can replant the area. Unfortunately, there’s no way to repair the grass that has turned brown already. Remove the dead grass and the topsoil from the affected area. Use a high-quality hand cultivator to loosen the topsoil. You can plant seeds on the bare spots.
You could plant sod in just about any season. Just make sure you apply sufficient water to the grass so that it doesn’t dry out. Before you lay sod, level the topsoil such that it matches the surrounding grass. The goal is to keep the length of the topsoil even across your lawn. The grass should grow in the same length as the grass in the surrounding area.
Before you plant new grass, water the soil for a couple of days so that the excess salt and nitrogen level in the topsoil is removed. There is no point in re-planting on the same soil. Note that the water should penetrate the roots of the healthy grass. This is the best way to grow healthy grass and grow new roots faster. Based on the level of damage, you could lay new sod or apply new seeds (whatever works for you). For lawn repair services, you can contact My Landscaping in Edmonton. My Landscaping can help replant your lawn using the best planting technique.
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