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Symptoms of an Over-Fertilized Lawn and How to Fix it

When you really, really want your grass to be green, you can lose your head a little bit.

You consider green spray paint. Or green carpet. Then you get a seemingly brilliant idea and start dumping on the fertilizer. The more fertilizer you use, the greener your lawn will get, and fast, right?

Yikes, no. 

Can you over-fertilize your lawn? What does over-fertilized grass look like? Will it grow back? 

There’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s take a look.

First, Can You Over-fertilize Your Lawn?

Yes, there’s absolutely such a thing as too much fertilizer. It’s actually a pretty common Idaho lawn care mistake — and an easy way to accidentally kill your grass.

The same nutrients that make your lawn green and healthy -- nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium -- can hurt your lawn if you apply too much. Too much fertilizer adds too much nitrogen and salt to the soil. It’s called fertilizer “burn,” and can actually kill your lawn. 

lawn care technican fertilizes grass
Applying too much fertilizer isn’t just bad for your lawn and wasteful — it can harm the environment, running off and entering the groundwater.

It’s a bad deal, all around. 

What Does Over-Fertilized Grass Look Like?

Basically, it looks dead. Kind of like the yellow or brown dog urine spots you see in lawns where dogs hang out. 

You might not notice any problems right away. Or you might realize you’re not seeing any new growth, even though you just gave your lawn a big meal. 

lawn fertilizer burn
Maybe just the tips of your grass blades are turning yellow or brown.

Then, days or even weeks later, ugly yellow or brown areas appear in the spots where you over-fertilized your grass.

How to Fix an Over-fertilized Lawn

Lots and lots of water. That will help rinse the extra fertilizer out of your lawn and dilute the harmful excess nitrogen and salt. 

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The sooner you catch this, the better. 

Will over-fertilized grass grow back? Probably. Eventually, your damaged lawn should bounce back and green up again. If it doesn’t, you might need to re-seed.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over This

It’s easy to feel like a screw-up if you over-fertilized your grass. 

Don’t feel too bad. It happens. It’s actually a pretty common DIY fertilizing mistake.

Maybe you read the directions wrong. Not everybody knows the exact size of their yard. Maybe that old spreader you dragged out of the garage wasn't calibrated right. Maybe you mistakenly thought that adding more fertilizer will get you quicker results.

lawn care expert pours in fertilizer
Maybe you used liquid fertilizer instead of granular. The liquid stuff is more likely to burn your lawn if you use too much, because it’s designed to work right away, while granular releases slowly, over time.

These are all great reasons to trust this job to the pros. There are other reasons, too. 

It’s not just the amount of fertilizer that’s important. 

Getting a green lawn takes a lot of work and knowledge. Professionals know a green, healthy lawn needs quality fertilizer, blended specifically for this area of Idaho and containing some slow-release nitrogen so that dark green color will last longer.

They know a green lawn takes fertilizer that contains a high percentage of iron — between 3 and 7 percent. 

And they know lawn care in Idaho Falls and Boise, ID includes adding sulfur, because of the pH of our soil and water. Since we have a higher pH, we lower that by applying sulfur with our lawn treatments.

All you have to know? These are all great reasons to hire expert lawn care. 

Trust Your Idaho Lawn Fertilizing to Lawn Buddies

A healthy lawn takes a lot of work, and the right knowledge.

If all this sounds like a big pain, you’re right. You have better things to do than toil in your yard every weekend, right?

Why not leave it to the pros? 

If you want simple, hassle-free lawn care in Idaho Falls or Boise, ID that offers quality core lawn care services for a healthy, impressive lawn, it doesn’t get easier than Lawn Buddies.

No stressing about which complicated combination of lawn care services will get you beautiful, healthy grass

You don’t have time to fuss with all that. Give yourself a break.

Welcome to one premium, six-visit lawn care program that includes everything your lawn needs to grow healthy and green.

Fertilizer, weed treatments, and grub control, all wrapped up in six visits, each perfectly timed throughout the season, so your grass is green and strong and resists weeds.

We’ve got your back. 

Got a few minutes? That’s all you need to get started.

Fill out the form on this page.
Call us at (208) 656-9131.
Or read more about our services.

Then kick back and relax in your healthy, thriving yard.

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