How To Fix and Revitalize Dead Grass

By Matt Smolsky , last updated April 26, 2011

When you have a case of the brown lawns, the question immediately becomes how to fix and revitalize dead grass? If you're a homeowner, the last color you want your lawn to be is brown. It's a problem many homeowners have faced and overcome. Here are some tried and true ideas for you.

First, be sure your grass is dead. Some grasses go dormant and turn green with the spring rains. Zoysia is known for going brown early and greening up late.

Rake Up the Old

To start, get rid of all dead grass, moss, and weeds. Rake it all up and pull weeds. You might need to rent a dethatcher and do some power raking. Once you've cleared out all the dead grass and weeds, mow the existing grass.

Next, you want to really rough up the soil so your new grass seed has a place to grow. Plus, chances are you haven't aerated in a while so you soil is probably compacted.

Loosen the Soil

Rent an aerator and go over the area several times from several different directions. Using an aerator is generally quicker and easier than digging up big patches of yard. But if you don't want to rent an aerator, try a garden fork instead of a shovel to break up the dirt. Don't be tempted to just throw your grass seed onto hard dirt, however. That's pretty much guaranteeing failure if you do.

Sow New Grass

Once you've broken up the soil, sow grass seed. You can toss it out by hand, just be sure to get even coverage. Then, apply fertilizer. If you've got dead grass, your soil is probably in serious need of nutrients. Rake these into the soil. Water well for the first two weeks (never let it dry out), and then back off to a couple times a week once the grass starts to grow.

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