How to Fix a Dead Lawn

Dead grass, lawn,

A Lawn with Dead Grass

The condition of your grass is mostly responsible for the attractiveness of your home. Even if you have landscape and have flowers, if your lawn has naked stains or fills up with weeds, it can give a racing look down to the entire property. By taking a few steps, you can remove these bare spots and set your lawn so that it looks beautiful throughout the spring and summer.  Read on to learn how to fix a dead lawn.


1. Diagnose the Dead Lawn Problem

Figure out why you need to repair your grass. If you don’t determine the problem, fixing your yard could be a waste of time. For example, if grubs are the problem, you’ll need to treat for them before laying a new lawn. But if too much shade is the problem, you’re better off forgetting a lawn and investing in low-maintenance shade-loving ground covers instead.

Here is a good article for identifying types of lawn diseases.

2. Remove the Dead Grass.

Bare patches of a lawn will have to be sown, but if you just put the seeds over the old, dead grass, it will not grow properly. With a shovel, remove the top layer of soil and grass and extend the area a few inches into the good grass around it.

3. Raking

Rake the floor. This will help you to the ground and make it more receptive to accept the seed. This is very similar to the process done in large areas and helps to remove debris and other materials that can hinder the growth of the grass seed.

4. Seed the Lawn

Spread seed evenly over the soil plowed. It is helpful to more seed to ensure that the grass will fill well. Sprinkle seeds around areas that already have grass to help patch mix formerly bare in.

Sometimes you may not want to wait for seeding a larger area.  It’s faster to have sod installation with the same type of grass.

5. Deter New Weeds in the Lawn

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide containing siduron. This product will prevent crabgrass seeds from sprouting, yet allow lawn grass seed to grow. Note: If you renovate in the fall, this isn’t necessary, because crabgrass is mainly a problem in spring.

May need some weeds to be pulled to remove them, but take care to do so only if the weed has not yet gone to sow. Pulling the seeded plants will distribute the seeds in your grass.

6. Water the Repaired Grass

While you can water before placing the grass seed down, watering afterward will help you restart the seed germination process. Be careful not to flood the area with too much water as this will wash the grass seed away.

Grass stems are composed mainly of water, and they will need frequent waterings to grow appropriately. Again, do not flood the area, just water slightly until the soil is wet.  Here is a great lawn watering guide to help.

7. Fertilizing Your Repaired Lawn

When the grass shoots are about an inch tall, apply  lawn fertilization to encourage growth. The same goes for sprigs and plugs: After you see a couple of new shoots, apply fertilizer. But be sure to wait until there’s growth — you can burn roots if you fertilize too early.

8. Mow your Lawn Weekly.

Avoid setting the mower to its lowest setting as this will cut the grass too low and make it more difficult for it to grow back. Although it does not mean more work, it will also ensure that your lawn looks lush and not too cut.

Be sure the mower blade is sharp the first time you mow; a dull blade could rip the seedlings right out of the ground. Then mow as usual once the grass is the height you want it. For the health of your turf, don’t cut off more than a third of the leaf length in any one mowing.

Tips and Warnings

Grass needs the right amount of sunlight to grow properly.  Trim large trees in your yard if they provide too much shade.


  1. How to Dethatch Your Lawn
  2. Simple Lawn Mowing Tips
  3. How to Revive Dead Grass
  4. Can You Regrow a Dead Lawn?

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *