How to Protect Grass Under a Portable Fire Pit

| September 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

Sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows has always been one of the best camping memories. There is nothing like sitting out under the stars around a crackling campfire, and with a portable fire pit it is a feeling you can now reproduce at home. You can place a fire pit in your backyard which will let you enjoy the same experience. However, before you light the first fire, you need to learn how to protect the grass under a portable fire pit.

Heat Damaged Lawn

Dead grass burnt by a fire pit Follow Me on Pinterest

Dead grass burnt by a fire pit

The heat from portable fire pit will eventually turn the grass underneath it yellow and finally brown as it dies. This unsightly spot in your lawn will start out small, but in time will become a much larger circle in the grass which will remain for a long time after you move the fire pit. While the easiest way to protect your lawn from a hot portable fire pit is to place it somewhere else, this is not the answer most people are looking for.

It Takes Preparation to Keep Your Fire Pit from Burning the Lawn

Start by raking the area to remove all dead grass, leaves, twigs, pine cones, and anything else that might burn. The area you need to clear should be at least 10 feet in diameter. This reduces the amount of burnable materials in the area.

What many people do not realize is that the area under their fire is going to become extremely hot. In fact the temperature can reach as high as 1,000 to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit when the fire is burning strongly. This very high temperature is the reason you need to take steps to protect your lawn from the fire pit.

Build a Brick Platform to Prevent Your Fire Pit from Burning the Grass

If you plan to leave your portable fire pit in one area, you really cannot keep the fire pit from burning the grass. What you can do is minimize the area of grass at risk of being damaged by the heat of the fire pit.  The best way to do this is to build a temporary pad of landscaping tiles or bricks on which to place the fire pit. The cement will help to reflect some of the heat and absorb most of the rest. This will also help to reduce how far out from the fire you might see damage.

You can create a permanent pad in this manner or you can remove the bricks or tiles in the morning after the fire has died and cooled. This will help to prevent a dead spot in your lawn. It also allows you to move your portable fire pit anywhere in your yard. It only takes a few minutes to set up the pad in a new area.

Elevation Can Help Protect Your Grass from the Fire Pit

If you are only planning the occasional fire, you may not want to go to all the bother of laying a complete protective pad each time you use your pit. You can use cinder blocks to elevate the pit up and away from your lawn. The extra distance may be enough to protect your lawn depending on how hot your fire burns and on how long you keep the fire going.

You can increase the burn time and protect the grass under a portable fire pit more effectively if you use your garden hose to wet the ground under it first. The heat from the fire dries the grass out first before it burns it. If you take the time to soak the area down first and then do so several times during the evening, your lawn should survive relatively intact.

Using a Fire Pit Protective Mat

One of the more recent inventions you can use to keep your grass green, is a fire pit grass protector. These mats are made to withstand temperatures as high as 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit or more. They typically consist of a metal frame, a metal grate, and a heat resistant mat. All you have to do is slide the mat under your fire pit before you light it.

The mat and frame may show signs of getting a little warm, but they are designed to. When you slide the mat out in the morning after, your lawn will still be in good shape as the mat will have redirected the heat away from it.

A Word of Caution

If you are planning to use bricks to create a platform to protect the grass under a portable fire pit, or to elevate it, you are creating a tripping hazard. You need to be sure everyone is well aware of the bricks, where they are located, and the dangers surrounding them. This is the best possible way to not only protect the lawn from a fire pit, but to ensure no one ends up getting hurt.

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