Dead grass is an eyesore, impacting your home’s curb appeal. If your grass is struggling to cope with the summer heat, use this guide to help you revive its green sheen.
Tips for How to Revive Dead Grass
First, make sure the grass is actually dead, not dormant. Cool-season lawns in northern climates sometimes go dormant in midsummer, especially during droughts.
Before you take drastic measures to revive your grass, carefully inspect the crowns—the whitish area at the base of the plant where individual blades of grass emerge. If the crowns are still alive, your lawn should revive itself if you water it more frequently. However, if the crowns are brown and dried out, the grass won’t green up again, no matter how much you water it.
If your otherwise healthy lawn has dead patches that need reviving, you can probably tackle the job yourself. On the other hand, you may need help from a professional lawn care provider if you’re faced with the prospect of replacing your entire lawn.
Here’s how to revive dead patches of grass:
- Pull weeds or use herbicide to remove unwanted plants from your yard.
- Dethatch the lawn to promote the circulation of air, water, and nutrients to the soil underneath this layer of decomposing plant material.
- Till the soil to a depth of 5 or 6 inches. You can also add organic compost to increase nutrient content, reduce the bulkiness of clay soil, and improve the water-holding capacity of sandy soil.
- Test the soil to see if there’s enough phosphorus. Adding grass-starter fertilizer can assist in the healthy development of new grass.
- Reseed or plant sod. Spread grass seed over the area and top the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Alternately, you can lay down sod. Make sure the new pieces sit firmly against the existing ones and that their roots make firm contact with the soil. Learn whether you need to seed or sod your lawn.
How to Avoid Dead Grass in the Future
Once you have revived your dead grass, keep it looking great with these tips:
- Irrigate the newly restored patches daily to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, for the next two to three weeks. Gradually reduce the frequency of watering as the new lawn establishes itself.
- Mow about once a week to maintain grass that’s a few inches long.
- Fertilize every four to five weeks through the fall. After the first year, fertilize your lawn once in the spring and again in the fall.
- Aerateand dethatch every couple of years to help the soil breathe.
- Keep dogs off the lawn. Some dogs have acidic urine that kills grass. If you have no other choice, dilute the spot with water after your pets relieve themselves.
- Move above-ground swimming pools and waterslides around the yard so one patch of grass doesn’t suffocate all summer long.
Maintaining a green lawn all summer long can be tricky. If you don’t have the knowledge, tools, or time to revive your dead grass, leave professional lawn maintenance to The Grounds Guys®. We provide a full range of lawn care services, from mowing and trimming to aerating and fertilization.
Did you know? The Grounds Guys is a Neighborly company. Learn more about Neighborly’s community of home service experts at GetNeighborly.com.