Try as hard as you might to avoid it, your lawn may end up sun scorched for one reason or another. Though you can try to prevent scorching through proper maintenance and drainage, there are also some simple ways to cure this problem once it occurs.
Scorching occurs when your grass turns brown due to the sun and heat. During dry and drought periods during the summer, grass is more likely to be damaged. Reductions or restrictions on water usage can also make it more likely that your grass will be scorched.
New sod can be particularly prone to damage. This is a problem if you are not watering the new sod as often as it needs. Watering often will help establish its root system underground. Your lawn can also be burned by the use or overuse of some pesticides or improperly applied fertilizers.
To avoid scorching, consistent watering is important. Water can also be the best cure for the sun-scorched lawn. If your grass is scorched and not dead, then water alone might be able to revive it back to its former state.
When you water, you want to make sure that you water deeply, letting the water soak in at least six inches deep. If you are only doing shallow watering the roots come much closer to the surface and are more prone to damage by extreme heat and cold because they are much more exposed.
You may also consider adding sugar to your grass. Silly as this might sound it will benefit the organism and microbes and help enrich your soil. You should spread one pound of sugar for every three hundred square feet on your lawn.
What you want to avoid is using a lot of fertilizer or weed killer. These kill the microbes that are beneficial to your grass and which you’ll need to get it back to the green color you love. Adding sugar will free those microbes and keep them alive.
If the sun scorching has killed areas of your grass, then you can fill or plug those bare spots with sod. This will be less expensive than replanting your entire lawn. You can remove the dead sections and then add new sod to those sections or depending on the season when doing this; you can start to re-grow your grass with grass seed.
Be warned though – grass seed can be tricky at the best of times and you may end up with a very patchy looking lawn. New sod may be expensive, but if you are only using little patches of it to fill in dead spots on your lawn, it won’t set you back too much.
In a worst-case scenario, you will have to re-sod or re-seed your entire lawn. As daunting as this might sound, it is sometimes the only solution, particularly if the damage is extensive. If you do need to do this, then you need to make sure that you look after your newly planted grass in the manner required to prevent the damage from reoccurring. The last thing you want is to start an unending cycle of seeding, scorching and re-seeding.
The sun can do a great deal of damage to your lawn, but so can fertilizers and weed killers that have been improperly applied. When looking at applying fertilizer, you must read the directions carefully and only apply it at the right time of the year. Using certain products in the summer will burn your lawn, even though they may be fine to use at other times.
The best solution (again) is watering, but you might also consider applying activated charcoal to your grass. This can detoxify your grass and reverse the effects of improperly applied weed and feed. If the damage is too extensive then your only option will be to re-sod or seed to bring the grass back to what it once was.
When dealing with a sun-scorched or burned lawn, the most important thing is to give your lawn the love and care it needs. A little TLC will help prevent sun scorching and it will also help cure it. If your lawn is sun-scorched then water is really your best friend and will really help in returning your lawn to it former green glory.
Photo by flickr user kevin dooley