The Q&A Archives: Torched my lawn

Question: No, really; I took a big propane torch to my lawn to stop dandelions from spreading. How do I fix the massive yellow 'scribble' looking burn trail now covering my front and back yard?
Got any grass patch type seed?

Answer: Actually, torching can be quite effective on weeds but the key is to simply overheat the weeds so the cells in the tissue burst rather than to incinerate the weeds. If you completely burn them to a crisp, the effect will be the same as if you cut them off at ground level - the roots will send out new tops. But if you hold the flame close enough to burst the cells in the leaves and stem, the dandelions will use lots of its stored energy trying to repair the damage. But, that's not the problem you're asking about. It is possible that only the blades of your grass were damaged with your torch. If so, the roots are still alive and will replace the dead blades. If you got really carried away and torched the roots as well as as the blades, you'll need to rake out the dead grass and overseed to restore your lawn to its former beauty. You can find grass patch kits or packages of seeds in your garden center.

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