How to Fix a Dead Lawn in 4 Simple & Easy Steps + FAQs

Scorching heat, compact soil, and heavy weeds can often lead to dead patches of grass on your lawn that don’t look appealing at all. If you want to get your yard to its former glory, there is still time.

The chances are that the root system is still intact, and you can help the grass grow. So if you are wondering how to fix a dead lawn, keep reading!


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4 Tips on How to Fix a Dead Lawn

Dead Grass

While your lawn might not look healthy and green right now, there is no need to worry. If the grass appears to be yellow and brown, the chances are it is just dormant.

Extreme temperatures force grass to protect itself. So you might think that your lawn is dying, but in reality, you can restore it.

Here is how to fix dead patches of grass and have a beautiful green yard all year round:

Water Your Lawn Regularly

Keeping your lawn healthy in summer can be tricky because it needs extra care. So if you have just come home from a vacation and there are patches of dead grass all over your garden, the best thing you could do is to water the lawn with a hose or sprinklers.

Using the former is an excellent idea because it can reach every corner of the garden, especially if you happen to have a good hose reel cart on wheels.

Remember that less is more when dealing with a dead lawn. It means you shouldn’t drown the grass in water. Keep it light and stick to your standard watering schedule.

Mow the Lawn

This advice might seem strange to you, but mowing your lawn could be what the dying grass needs.

But there is a trick!

You have to leave the clippings where they are.

Grass clippings are a natural fertilizer that delivers nutrients such as nitrogen to the soil. They decompose quickly, making the grass grow stronger and greener. It is an excellent way to revive your lawn without using store-bought fertilizer.

All you need is a trusty lawnmower, and you are good to go!

Think About Aerating the Lawn

Dead patches of grass sometimes signal that it is time to aerate your lawn.

Aerating is the process of creating small holes in the ground that provide air and other essential nutrients to the soil. They go directly to the roots and can improve the overall health of your yard.

You can aerate the lawn yourself by using good lawn aerator. Keep in mind that aeration should be done once a year for most yards to prevent the soil from compacting.

Pull Out the Weeds

The grass needs water, but so do the weeds. Lawns that are overrun with these pesky plants usually have dead patches of grass. After all, weeds are practically stealing all the moisture away.

So if you want to know how to fix a dead lawn with lots of weeds, be ready to do some manual work. You can either pull the weeds yourself (make sure you get the roots too!) or use weed killers.

And you’re in luck because we’ve reviewed many types of weed killers, so check out the one that is relevant to your situation:


When should I fix my lawn patch?

If you noticed dead patches of grass in the middle of the summer, you might be tempted to go out right away and start fixing the problem.

While you could prevent severe damage, the perfect timing for fixing a lawn patch is either in autumn or spring. The weather conditions will help the grass recover quickly.

Therefore, wait for cooler weather, and then start working on getting your garden into top shape.

Why do I have patchy grass?

There are several reasons for patchy grass. The most common one is drought. However, patchy grass could appear on lawns that see heavy traffic as the soil gets compact.

If neither of these applies to your yard, look out for pests or fungal infections. Dealing with them could require the use of chemicals, so make sure you read the instructions carefully and stay safe.

How do I make my patchy lawn thicker?

Making a patchy lawn grow thicker grass is not complicated at all. The quickest solutions to this problem are overseeding and fertilizing.

Overseeding can help you recover the dead patches of grass, as well as fill up the area with lush and healthy grass. Fertilizing will give you even better results when you combine it with overseeding.

After all, your lawn needs nutrients, and a good fertilizer will deliver that.

Will grass spread to bare spots?

The grass will not spread to bare spots on its own most of the time. Some types of warm climate grass can do so through the root system.

The only way to make the grass grow again and fill up the bare spots is to overseed that area of your yard. You can make bare spots less visible while the lawn is repairing itself by maintaining tall grass around them.

How do you reseed bare patches in a lawn?

Reseeding bare patches is quite easy, and it won’t take too much of your time.

The first thing you need to do is to assess the damage and rake the patchy area.

Then loosen up the soil either by using a cultivator or a sturdier rake. Cover the area with compost and mix it up with the ground.

Then grab the seeds and sprinkle generously over the bare patch. Use the rake once again to cover the seeds with the soil.

Then continue to water the area for the next two weeks.

Do your best to maintain the moisture if the temperatures are too high.


Yellow or brown patches of grass might not look too good on your otherwise impeccable lawn, but luckily, you can fix them yourself.

It is important to know that your grass isn’t dead just yet, so there is no need to worry. There are many reasons why dead patches of grass occur, including weather conditions, weeds, and compact soil.

However, all of these can be fixed. Simply water your yard more often or aerate and overseed the patches.

Andy Gibson

My name's Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.

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