How to rejuvenate an old lawn

Updated February 21, 2017

You can rejuvenate an old lawn with new and improved grass growth. Neglected lawns often have patches of dead grass and areas with weed infestation. Competing plants and dead grass must be removed to give a lawn the best possible chance of bouncing back. Empty spots can be replanted with matching grass seed and fertilise to speed their growth. Water, sunlight and time complete the job and make an old tired lawn look new again.

Rake the grass vigorously with a lawn rake. Pull out weeds and dead grass as you go. Wear garden gloves to prevent blisters.

Cut out entire sections of dead or unwanted grass with the blade of a shovel. Separate the roots from the soil. Lift out the cut patches and discard them far away to avoid regrowth.

Spread topsoil on the bare lawn patches to bring the dirt level up to the surrounding areas. Sprinkle the matching grass seed variety onto the topsoil according to the directions on the container. Cover all the new grass seeds with a ΒΌ-inch of topsoil and an inch of straw.

Spray starter fertiliser on the newly seeded areas and the surrounding lawn. Keep the soil beneath the lawn moist with a hose or a full-coverage sprinkler.

Remove the straw from the new growth areas after two weeks have passed. Avoid walking on the grass until all the new seedlings have grown 3 inches out of the ground.


Aerate the lawn once grass growth has filled in completely. Walk the lawn in long spike aeration shoes or rent a lawn aerator to get the job done faster. Set the blades of a lawnmower to cut the grass 3 inches above the ground.


Over-watering leaves unabsorbed puddles that can drown new grass seedlings. A lawn is plenty moist if you can press your index finger into the soil up to the second knuckle.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn rake
  • Garden gloves (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Topsoil
  • Grass seed
  • Straw
  • Grass seed starter fertiliser
  • Hose
  • Sprinkler (optional)
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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.