Problem: Chemical or Fertilizer Burn
Chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, gasoline, and hydrated lime may burn the grass if applied improperly or if accidentally spilled. When excessive amounts of these materials contact grass plants, they cause the blades to die. Some, such as lime and fertilizers, kill plants by making the soil salty.
Minimize damage by picking up spilled material, then washing remaining chemical from the soil immediately. If the substance is water soluble, water the area thoroughly-three to five times longer than usual. If the substance is not soluble in water, like gasoline, flood the area with a solution of dish soap. Then water thoroughly. Some substances, such as preemergent herbicides, cannot be washed out, and the top foot of affected soil should be replaced. Prevent further damage by filling gas tanks and sprayers on an unplanted surface, such as a driveway. Apply chemicals according to label instructions.