For a healthy and good-looking lawn, you want to avoid any conditions, like heat stress, that can ruin the aesthetics and most importantly, the health of your grass.
Heat stress is one of the biggest contributors to long-term grass problems. It occurs when the sun, or in this case, the fire pit, gets intense, and the grass starts to discolor, lose elasticity, and eventually dries out and dies from dehydration.
If you’re wondering how to protect your grass from your fire pit, you’re in the right place.
We’ve researched and compiled the best tips for keeping the grass around your portable fire pit looking beautiful, green, and healthy.
Here are our tips on how you can prevent scorch marks on your lovely lawn.
How to Protect Grass from a Fire Pit
1. Level, level, level
First, make sure to place your fire pit on a level surface to prevent it from tipping over.
2. Raise the level with additional layering
You can raise the pit level with a layer of sand and brick pavers placed in a grid layout.
This method will provide a great heat barrier between the fire and your grass. Even if you’re using a fire pit pad, you should still use a layer of sand at the bottom.
3. Choose a raised fire pit (10-inches of airspace)
You should invest in a raised portable fire pit designed with sturdy legs to keep it off the ground.
Never put the fire pit bowl directly on top of the grass or on top of the mat.
Make sure you allow at least 10 inches of airspace between the bottom of your firepit and the ground to avoid heat transfer to your grass.
We recommend the Amagabeli fire pit. It is elevated, portable and durable. Plus, it comes with a protective spark cover and an extra-long poker.
4. Water, water, water
Just before lighting up your fire pit, mist the grass surrounding the fire pit, but don’t overdo it.
The lack of moisture around your fire pit is a significant cause of heat stress. So it’s crucial to always keep the grass hydrated.
5. Firepit shields (most effective)
Metal heat shields are 100% fire-proof and are the most effective options to protect your grass, deck, or any other surface you may put your firepit on.
They’re constructed to withstand high temperatures and offer heat damage protection.
We found that the Northland Defender shield is one of the best ones on the market. You can find it on Amazon with has hundreds of 5-star reviews.
People have tested it for years saying that they haven’t seen any signs of grass burning underneath the fire pit.
No matter how hot the coals get, the temperature under the fire pit stays nice and cool.
6. Fire-resistant mats (most portable)
In the absence of heat shields, you can use fire mats. They’re portable, easy to fold, and store. You can take them anywhere with you, for instance on backpacking or camping trips.
These fire-resistant pads are designed to protect your grass from sparks, embers, and ash.
They come in different materials and different sizes to keep your grass protected around your fire pit.
We recommend the Majita Mat, designed with 3 fire-protective layers which make it withstand temperatures as high as 2000F.
It’s constructed to protect the grass or deck area around your fire pit or grill from popping hot embers or blowing ashes. It’s made of high-temp fiberglass with resin fireproof coating.
No matter which mat you choose, it’s important to carefully read the instructions and to make sure you leave enough space between the heat source and the fire pit pad.
We saw tons of negative reviews where people were complaining that they had burned the grass beneath – most certainly because they didn’t follow the instructions and didn’t take any of the steps presented in this article.
7. Use a Spark Screen
For additional protection, invest in a protective spark screen.
This way you prevent flying hot sparks and other debris from landing on your lawn, which can seriously damage your lawn especially in windy conditions.
The Sunnydaze spark screen is durable, available in 5 different sizes, and it’s very easy to use.
Make sure to measure your pit before purchasing, to ensure you pick the best fit.
8. In the end, always remove the pavers
When you’re done with the fire, everything needs to be completely removed: the fire pit, the protectors, the pavers. Of course, after the pit has cooled completely.
Why is this important?
Because the grass needs to breathe again and see the light, and the compression from all those heavy items placed on top of it will eventually kill the grass.
What to put under the fire pit on grass?
It’s recommended to add some layering underneath your fire pit to create some distance and provide a temporary heat shield barrier.
Always start with a bottom layer of sand, then use brick pavers or natural stones to create a level surface.
Ideally, you should invest in a professional fire shield to put under the fire pit that will keep the grass cool.
How to fix burnt grass from a fire pit? Will it grow back?
Keep the burnt perimeter hydrated and don’t step on it until the grass is healed.
Burned grass needs plenty of water to get back to green. If after 4 weeks nothing is happening, remove 1 inch of the soil and top up with new soil mixed with grass seed.
Do fire pits ruin grass?
Yes, fire pits ruin grass if they’re placed directly on top of the grass. You need to place them on top of a heat shield, a fire pad, or on bricks.
How to protect artificial grass from fire pit
First of all, don’t put the fire pit directly on the artificial grass. Usually, the artificial grass is designed to be fire retardant, and therefore, it will not flame up, but it will melt.
Even so, you should never expose it to an open flame. Use elevated fire pits, heat shields, and bricks to raise the level and protect the artificial grass from the heat.
Ideally, you should create a patio space dedicated to your fire pit area, and keep an extinguisher nearby – just in case.
Fire pits are fun and cozy, perfect for cozy family nights, but it requires attention to safety. Make sure to invest in safety gear, and to read instructions carefully.
While keeping your grass safe, you can have fun and peace of mind using your fire pit on cozy fall days.