For decades, people have burned their lawns as a way to revitalize their yards and keep them beautiful. This practice has been believed to have many benefits to the upkeep of your grass, but it may not be as helpful as we once thought.

The Good

  • Burning your grass is inexpensive and easy. Most people have access to the resources for this process without having to purchase anything extra.
  • Burning removes organic matter, dead leaves, blades of grass, and other natural material from resting on top of your grass. Organic matter can house harmful insects and disease. It can also hold onto important nutrients preventing them from reaching the soil.
  • The sun will warm up the darkened, charred lawn quicker, increasing the soil temperature faster which will benefit your grass.

 

The Bad

  • If not done properly, burning your grass can be dangerous. If the fire becomes out of your control you may accidentally damage your surroundings or hurt yourself or someone else.
  • Burning is commonly banned or restricted in cities and neighborhoods, so you may run into legal trouble if you don't check with your local fire department.
  • Burning can be bad for the enviornment. It can ruin the habitats of animals you don't intend to harm, and the smoke it creates is bad for you, your neighbors, wildlife, and the air.
  • Some species cannot be burned away from your lawn without damaging your turf as well.
  • Burning your grass will leave a big, ugly charred spot on you lawn until it grows back.

 

Should You Burn Your Grass?

Green grass

Considering the pros and cons of burning your grass, it seems that there are better ways to maintain your lawn.

For example, you can reduce the amount of organic matter on your bermudagrass and zoysiagrass by mowing your lawn lower than usual when the grass first starts to grow. This gives soil and roots access to the sun which warms it up quicker and encourages a healthy green lawn.

While controlled burns may provide some benefits when performed by a trained professional, most of the advantages have been disproven or proven to be less effective than we originally thought. In this case, it seems the cons outweigh the pros, and it's best if you do not burn your grass.