Gas Spill on Lawn

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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?

Lucas Shand

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!

This gas can claims to be spill-proof … but still, don’t use it on a lawn! Photo: SureCan

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.

Replace damaged lawn with fresh soil, then overseed. Photo: http://www.homedepot.ca

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. 

One thought on “Gas Spill on Lawn

  1. Arborists are often instructed to fill their saws over bare soil or ground cover so that they do not stain pavement with bar oil, or gasoline that contains engine oil. I prefer that they do it on the chipper hopper, where any spill will get whisked away by debris.

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