How to fix a dead lawn

How to fix a dead lawn – Say no to dead lawn

How to fix a dead lawn – Lawns are a small or big area of land planted with grasses, usually carpet grass or in recent times, covered with artificial grass carpet that is regularly mowed or trimmed short. The lawn area of a house, garden, park, or recreational centers is usually carved out for beautification or leisure purposes.

Whether natural or artificial, lawn grasses are usually green and lush, and if maintained properly, they are a point of attraction anywhere you find them in parks or around the home. Because of how important a lawn is, there are several questions on how to fix a dead lawn.

There are two types of lawn grass

The turfgrass and native grass. The turfgrass is more exotic and mostly used on a golf course, restaurants, and some renowned parks. Lawn grass, unlike the native grass, is made up of different types of compact and entwined plants known as turf grass, which is regularly mowed so that the grasses do not flower but are allowed to spread across the lawn to form a mat through the rhizomes.

Although in some cases, a combination of both grass types may be appropriate even though, in some cases, native grass is easier to maintain.

Unfortunately, a lawn, like other plants, can die or lose its greenness if not properly taken care of. But asides care, even though these other reasons may fall under the category of care and maintenance, there are other factors that may cause a dead lawn.

Causes of dead lawn

how to fix a dead lawn

  • Dryness, drought, or inadequate watering

Lawns, whether native or turf grass, requires water to grow, survive, and stay green and fresh, although the water requirement of both kinds of grass differs.

When there is insufficient watering or dryness, the lawn begins to dry up to form small brown patches, and if not noticed, it keeps expanding until the whole lawn is dry and brown, leaving patches of dead grass.

This can be revived through constant irrigation or water for about three weeks, but if the grasses are totally dead, you may need to consider planting other seeds.

  • Irregular mowing

Most times, leaving lawn grass to overgrow is not a healthy way to maintain them. Therefore, regular mowing is required. It is important to note, however, that when mowing, care is to be taken so as not to mow too short as this may expose the grass to too much sunlight than it may have the capacity to bear at that height, thus causing dryness. At least a 3 inches mowing height is preferable.

  • Pest and diseases

Pests are often the most overlooked cause of dry or dead lawns, and this is because they damage the roots, and it’s already too late before you observe on the grass. Pests are mainly caused when there’s too much water without enough soil drainage, excess fertilizer, or poorly maintained lawns. The most common lawn pest is the grub.

  • Pets

Sometimes your pets find delight in easing on a well-mowed lawn, thus exposing that spot to dryness or damage. You can easily notice this, especially when the brown patch is only within a small area. You can revive this area by watering thoroughly until you notice the grasses come back alive and green.

  • Spongy lawns

When you see brown patches on your lawns and some healthy green ones around the same spot, this means that there are lots of old and dead grass that have piled up into a web-like interlock trapping new growths by preventing proper aeration and feeding the new grass needs for growth.

That is usually formed as a result of rushed or improper mowing, excess application of fertilizer, which makes the soil acidic or the variety of grass grown. To avoid a spongy lawn, you have to figure out which of these three factors is the cause and take necessary measures to correct the problem.

  • Lawn grass type

Some lawn grasses are summer types that thrive best in the summertime and goes into dormancy in winter by turning dry and brown, only to come alive again at the start of rain. If your lawn grass is this type, then you don’t have to worry too much. If not, the dryness could be as a result of one or a combination of the causes listed in 1 – 5 above.

Why do you need to revive a dead lawn? There are several reasons why you may consider reviving a dead lawn. One of the common reasons is that you may be a new buyer of a property with a dead lawn and would love to restore it for your use. For any reason, it is unattractive to have a lawn in your home looking so dry and brown when it only takes little effort to bring it back to life and maintain it.

How to fix a dead lawn

how to fix a dead lawn

No one likes to see a once green lawn turn dry and brown, which is why you are on this page today trying to figure out ways to fix your dead lawn. To revive a dead lawn;

  1. Identify the cause of dryness

The causes of a dead or dry lawn have been discussed above. Once you have identified why your lawn is not as green and lush as it should, it is very easy to bring it back alive.

  1. Repair the lawn site

If you were just starting a lawn, I would have typed “prepare,” but this time, you have a lawn that has already gone dry, so you need to repair the land by removing weeds, and possibly removing old grass (if you are sure they are dead grasses). This step can be easily achieved by using herbicides like glyphosate on a warm or sunny day so that the effect can be quick and effective. Leave the site for about a week so the grasses and weeds can dry up completely.

  1. Remove thatch

Thatch requires you to remove dead layers of grass or weeds remaining on the land until there is a little or no remnant. This process is important for the new grass because it will allow proper aeration, water flow, and easy nutrient absorption necessary for the healthy growth of the grasses. Moreover, getting rid of thatch also enables the roots of new grass to properly develop and eliminates the infestation of pests and diseases.

  1. Tilling

Tilling the soil to a depth of about 5 to 6 inches allows for proper aeration and incorporation of dead organic matter back into the soil. This step is also the point where you may want to add compost to the soil. The Tilling process helps to increase the water-holding capacity of the soil.

  1. Plant new seeds

For fixing a dead lawn, you may need to plant new seeds if it’s a total renewal you are doing, but if it’s a section of the lawn, you may have to consider planting sods. For seeds, disperse evenly on the lawn and make sure the seeds make contact with the soil. You can spread another layer of soil over the area.

For sod, fill the large lawn area with full sods pieces. Dig a hole deep enough to hold the roots before placing the base of the sods inside the hole. Then cover the hole firmly with soil around it.

  1. Rolling

It is very important to roll the lawn after planting seed or sod. This will help the seeds or sod make secure contact with the soil and make it firmly established in the soil.

  1. Watering

Watering at this stage is to keep the lawn moist, so water with just enough, not too much to prevent sogginess and not too little so the grass seeds or sod won’t be starved. Watering frequency at this point should be about three times a day and with light irrigation. Watering frequency may then decrease once you discover the grass sprouting or the sod firmly rooted in the soil.


Regardless of how convenient or difficult it was to fix your dead lawn; it is important to ensure good maintenance practices to keep the lawn grasses alive and healthy. There is much information on how to fix a dead lawn, but these few steps are enough to guide you to keep you going if you are consistent in ensuring good aftercare procedures.

Leave a Comment