How to Resurrect Your Dead Lawn

Dead grass is a blemish that can leave the wrong impression on your home’s curb appeal. Summer is just around the corner, and if your grass has struggled in the past to survive in the sweet summer heat of Southern Ontario, we have some keepin’ green tips for you!

A happy family on their front lawn.

Tips for How to Resurrect Your Dead Lawn

Your initial task will be to check if your grass is actually dead, or dormant. Cool-season lawns in northern climates like ours will often go dormant during midsummer droughts.

So, before we implement any procedures to rescue your grass, we need to gently examine the crowns—the white/beige part at the foot of the plant, where each blade of grass roots from. If these crowns are still living, your lawn should recover on its own, so long as you water it on a more frequent basis. On the other hand, if these crowns are brownish-yellow and completely withered, the grass has probably seen better days. RIP little grasslings.

If your lawn has a few small dead zones, you might be able to play Doctor Green Thumb yourself. But, if you need to restore your entire lawn, you may need support from a professional lawn care provider, like us!

Here’s how to bring those dead patches of grass back to life:

  • Use a high-quality herbicide or manually tug-out weeds to eliminate nasty, grass-killing plants from your lawn.
  • Dethatch your yard to encourage the circulation of air and water; this will also help to disburse nutrients down to the soil below.
  • Add some really rich organic compost to improve nutrient density, loosen clay soil, and improve the water retention of sandier soil. Pro Tip: till your soil approximately 5 or 6 inches deep.
  • You’ll also want to play chemist and sample your soil to determine if there are sufficient levels of phosphorus. If not, you can supplement with some ‘grass-starting’ fertilizer—you’ll suddenly notice some serious bright green growth!
  • Reseed the section and cover the grass seed with a small coating of soil. A slightly less economical shortcut would be to lay new sod. Just ensure the new sod portions are placed securely against any surviving grass and that their roots are touching fresh soil.

Want to know whether you’ll require new sod or If you can simply reseed? Give us a shout.

Avoiding Dead Grass in the Future

Okay, so you’ve managed to bring your lawn back to life—it’s alive! But how do you keep your neighbors green with envy?

  • First things, first. Make sure to irrigate your new lawn to preserve moist soil. Remember: you don’t want the grass to be squelchy (yuck), and you want those baby roots to establish themselves; slowly lessen the amount of water so that it can establish itself.
  • Secondly, mow your lawn no more than once / week.
  • For the first year, fertilize through the fall season (every four or five weeks). From then on, feed your grass one time in spring and once in the fall.
  • Don’t forget to dethatch and aerate every year to maintain circulation within the soil.
  • Keep Banjo off the grass. A puppers urine can be highly acidic and damage your grass. If your pets need to ‘use the lawn,’ dilute the soiled area with some water afterward.

Maintaining a healthy and less-stressed lawn during the summer months can be a challenge, no doubt. If you don’t have the expertise, time, or equipment to revitalize your lawn, call our professional lawn maintenance team for a free no-obligation quote. We offer an extensive assortment of lawn care services, from landscaping design to lawn maintenance, and everything in between!