Methods to revive a dead lawn

Dead lawns are generally the result of improper horticultural practices. Poor watering routines, a thick layer of thatch, improper fertilisation application and low mower blades can kill a lawn in no time.

By using the best techniques for maintaining the yard, you can revive your dead lawn to restore the look of the landscaping.


A thick layer of thatch can give the impression of a dead lawn. Thatch is the layer of dead and living organic matter sandwiched between the soil and the grass. When your thatch layer is over half an inch thick, your grass can look dead every time your mow. Prevent dead-looking grass by dethatching the yard with a power rake. You can rent a power rake from your local gardening supply store. Water the yard three days in a row before dethatching. Water right before you dethatch on the third day. Roll the power rake over the lawn and pick up the debris with a rake. Avoid harming your grass root system by setting the power rake's blades to a medium level. Spray a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed seeds from germinating after dethatching.


Lawns require one inch of water a week during dry spells to stay green. Dead looking lawns can perk up when proper watering is used to reduce the amount of evaporation of lost water. Water the lawn early in the morning. Late afternoon watering can lead to encouraging fungal diseases to overtake your yard. Make sure that your irrigation system is working. Check sprinkler heads. In order for your yard to get an inch of water, sprinklers must be turned on for at least an hour. The slower the release of water, the deeper the water is able to penetrate the soil in order to promote a strong deep root system. Grass blades mirror the root system underground. Short, dead-looking grass blades mean the roots are equally as bad off. To know how much water your lawn is receiving from the rain, place a rain gauge in the yard and supplement any water when necessary.

Soil pH Test

Grass grown outside of its preferred pH range will die, because it can not absorb the soil's nutrients. Conduct a soil test on your lawn. You can buy a soil pH test from your local county extension office. Dig a six-inch hole to collect samples. Mail the samples off to the laboratory's address on the test. Wait for the results which will indicate if your pH range is off and what type of fertiliser to use. Likewise, it will also indicate if you need to use lime for acidic soil or sulphur for alkaline soil.


Winter's harsh weather conditions can do a number on your lawn. Likewise, winter growing weeds can overtake dead lawns in the spring. You can help prevent the extend of abuse that your grass is going to receive by fertilising in the fall months. According to Ohio State University's research, fertilising in the fall in one of the most important practices a gardener can employ to produce a thick dense grass in the spring. Use a fertiliser high in nitrogen every eight to ten weeks.