Lawn damaged by gasoline spill. Photo: globegazette.com
Question: I was filling my lawn mower with gas the other day and accidentally spilled some on the lawn. Now there’s a dead patch. What should I do?
Answer: First, of course, you should never fill your lawn mower’s gas tank (or that of any other power tool, for that matter), on a lawn. Move it to a driveway or other inert surface where spills can be mopped with a few old rags. Accidents happened so easily!
And there actually are spill-proof gas cans that greatly reduce the risk of a spill, but even so, you should still never fill a gas tank on a lawn.
A few drops of gasoline falling on a lawn won’t do any damage, but obviously enough spilled on the lawn in your case to kill the grass.
Much of the gas will evaporate and microbes in the soil will eventually digest the rest, but rather than wait a year or so for the grass to fill in on its own, dig out the dead patch to a depth of about 2 inches (5 cm) and replace with fresh soil, then overseed with quality grass seed. (💡Helpful hint: consider using low-maintenance lawn seed.) Water regularly as the new grass sprouts. Within a month, the damage should no longer be visible.