GREENSBORO, N.C. — A long, hot summer of 90-degree streaks and sporadic cool rain hasn't made for the prettiest lawns.

What if there were a cure to brown grass...and it didn't involve fertilizer (or spending any money whatsoever)?


Good Morning Show Bunty Moore asked, "Is it true, when it's lightning outside, is there something in the lightning that turns the grass greener?"


  • Meteorologist Terran Kirksey


Yes, lightning can help grass turn green. Why? Simple chemistry.

Kirksey explained nitrogen helps grass and other plants grow. The atmosphere contains a lot of nitrogen, but it is in a form plants cannot readily use.

Lightning can cause a chemical reaction that changes the nitrogen into nitrogen dioxide (one nitrogen atom and two oxygen atoms). In nitrogen dioxide form, the nitrogen can fall to the ground, where plants can use it.

So, yes, both lightning and animal waste can bring nitrogen to the ground. The lightning doesn't even have to hit the ground to be effective.

Kirksey concluded, "In general though, the amount of nitrogen in fertilizer is going to be much higher than the amount of nitrogen that a singular lightning strike can cause."


Yes, lightning can help fertilize grass and turn it greener.

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