Fire pits are a great way to spend time outdoors during the colder winter months. Nothing beats lighting up the fire pit, gathering with friends or family outside, and roasting marshmallows over the flames. However, if you have a portable fire pit you’re using on your lawn, you’ve probably been wondering: “Is this fire pit going to kill my grass?”
The short answer: yes. Having a source of fire inches away from your unprotected lawn is going to damage the grass there. But don’t worry! You don’t have to sell your fire pit. There are plenty of easy ways to have a portable fire pit while protecting your home and lawn.
Here’s what you need to know.
Your Lawn + Heat Stress: a Quick Guide
A fire pit may cause your lawn heat stress, which can then have damaging effects on it. Heat stress may weaken your lawn’s ability to thrive and protect itself from weeds and other pests. Two other notable symptoms of heat stress include discoloration and ghost prints, spots where your grass does not recover after intense pressure.
If you don’t take precautions to protect your lawn from your new fire pit, you may be opening it up to long-lasting heat stress damage.
Give your lawn some TLC by protecting it from heat stress and watering it often.
Tips for Protecting Your Grass
If you have a portable fire pit, there are plenty of measures you can take ahead of time to protect your lawn from the heat stress it might cause.
Before you start on a specific project, take a minute to survey your lawn. Pick out the best long-term spot for your fire pit and then come up with a plan to protect that area. Make sure that there’s plenty of space between your fire pit and anything that could potentially catch fire. This includes your home, any large trees, structures like swing sets or play equipment, clotheslines, etc.
We recommend placing your fire pit at least 20 to 25 feet away from structures like your home or a shed, and at least 10 to 15 feet away from tree branches. In addition, pick a spot on the ground that is completely level. You don’t want sudden movement or wind to tip over your fire pit while it’s lit!
Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your fire pit, it’s time to get to work. Check out some of these tasks that can help you protect your lawn:
Use Stone Paving
Use brick pavers or stone to create a small platform for your fire pit. Brick is an especially good material to use here because it is strong, sturdy, and resistant to heat.
Once the party is over and the fire has died, let the fire pit cool completely before emptying its debris into a metal container for disposal. Then, to prevent any damage to your lawn, remove the stone paving. Give your lawn some time to breathe before you replace the paving and light another fire.
Wet the Grass
Before you set up your fire pit for the evening, wet the grass that it will be placed on! This creates a barrier between the grass and the heat, which can help your grass remain strong and prevent heat stress.
You don’t have to completely soak the area, but you should make sure that the chosen area is well saturated.
Buy a Mat
Purchase a high-strength mat that’s designed to hold your fire pit. Then, every time you want to light a fire, all you have to do to protect your lawn is place the mat on top of it. This is one of the most effective and easiest ways to protect your lawn from the heat stress associated with portable fire pits.
Some Other Tips for Operating Your Fire Pit
- Mist the grass surrounding your fire pit with water before lighting. This will prevent heat stress from spreading outwards to the rest of your lawn.
- Always keep a bucket or hose of water handy in case of emergencies.
- Consider using a fire pit screen to contain any sparks that might fly up.
- For wood-burning fire pits, never use lighter fluid or kerosene.
- Use log grabbers to replace or remove logs from the fire pit.
- When you’re done using your fire pit, extinguish the fire with water and soak the remaining ash as well.
Who to Call for Proper Lawn Care
Need help restoring your lawn to its former glory? Or perhaps you’re interested in giving it some TLC to prepare for spring? No matter what your lawn care needs are, Peak Sodding is here to help. Give us a call today for a free consultation for your lawn.