One thing which you will have to deal with at some point after starting your own lawn care business is a dead lawn. There are many ways a lawn can die, and you can protect from some of them but no matter your best efforts, there will come a time when a lawn dies, and you have to coax it back to life.

As a lawn care professional, it is essential that you know how to fix a dead lawn. You should never give up on a lawn or a client, and we are here to help you with that.

Let’s look at how to fix a dead lawn.


how to fix a dead lawn

A dead lawn can be caused by any number of things. It can range from dead spots in your lawn to an entire lawn of brown and lifeless grass.

Disease or drought can cause your lawn to turn from green to brown. Infestations of insects can damage your lawn. 

Your clients may suffer from thatch build up, bad mowing, lack of watering, or poor fertilization.

If you are caring for a lawn, you will likely not suffer from most of the above, but a new client or one who has not used you for a while may present you with a problem.

Let’s look at what can cause dead patches in a lawn or kill the entire thing.


how to fix a dead lawn - add water

You are only with your client’s lawn for a short period of time. If your client does not care for it properly when you are not there, then they can end up with dead patches in their lawn. Thankfully, this problem is easy to fix, and it is extremely easy to restore a dead lawn in this case.

How to fix a dead lawn from a lack of moisture is to simply add more water. Instruct your client to water the lawn with a little water over a long period of time. If there has been a lack of watering, then this will bring the lawn back to life.


Grass needs food to grow. When you are thinking about how to fix a dead lawn, you should be thinking about the fertilization schedule. If you have not set up a fertilization schedule with your clients, then this lack of food may be the cause of the dead lawn. Visit them and add some fertilizer to their lawn, watering it afterward.


If your grass does not have good air flow, you may find that the grass can die.

So how do you restore a dead lawn which has not been aerated?

It may be as simple as aerating the lawn, adding some water, and leaving it for a couple of days. If the lawn is completely dead, then you may have to reseed a dead lawn. If the lawn has not been aerated and is then left to die, you may not be able to coax it back to life. This goes for lack of water and fertilizer too.

To reseed a dead lawn, you will need to remove as much of the dead material as possible to allow the seeds to take root in the ground. You can sprinkle it back on top of the seeds after if you wish to add some cover and lock in more moisture. Rake the ground to aerate the soil and use a rotary spreader to add seeds to the soil. Make sure to fertilize and water the lawn after.


Thatch buildup is when you have a large build-up of dead organic material between the grass and the soil. This will give the impression that your lawn is dead, but it may not be. You can use a de-thatching machine to remove the dead material while keeping the living material in place. When you are running your machine over the lawn, make sure to run it in all four directions to remove as much thatch as possible.

How to Fix a Dead Lawn

If the entire lawn is dead or you have dead patches, then it may be time to replace a part of or the entire lawn. There are a few steps to take to make this go as evenly as possible.

Sometimes one of the above problems are not the culprit and adding in a variable is not going to work. Sometimes you just have to accept that the lawn is dead.

So, how do you fix a dead lawn?

Step 1: Remove Dead Matter

The first step is to remove as much of the dead matter as possible. Use a metal rake to drag the dead material from the soil. Your grass seeds will take root and grow better if they can have direct contact with the soil.

Step 2: Prepare for Seeding

Once the dead material is removed, scratch at the surface with the rake to loosen the soil and allow the seeds to be sown on loose earth instead of hard ground. Try to rake up a couple of inches of soil.

Step 3: Seeding

Scatter the grass seed evenly over the soil. You can use a rotary seed dispenser for this if you are covering a large area. For small patches of dead soil, you can do it by hand. Rake the seeds into the soil once you have dispersed them.

Step 4: Fertilizer

After the seeds, add some fertilizer to the soil. You want to give the seeds the best chance possible. If you have mulch which you can add to the top of the newly seeded soil, then go ahead. This will help to reap the water and slow evaporation. Add some water to the seeds too.

Step 5: Maintain Moisture

You should then instruct your clients to keep the earth moist over the next couple of days to promote seed growth.


It can be easy to transfer from a dead lawn to a living one, and even creating a completely new lawn is an easy process. The best cure is always prevention, but there will come a time when you need to fix a dead lawn, and now you can.