Fixing Dead Spots in Your Lawn

How to restore those troublesome dead patches in your lawn

You can easily restore healthy grass to areas killed by such contaminants as over-fertilization or doggy doo-doo by cleaning the soil first.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Problem: Dead zones in your lawn

Here's a situation many homeowners have faced: You spilled some fertilizer and killed a patch of grass. Then you reseeded the spot, and nothing happened. Finally you laid sod over the bare spot, and the sod died.

Here's the solution: You're up against contaminated soil. And whether the contamination is from fertilizer or doggy doodoo, the solution is simple. First, turn the soil over. Drive a spade deep into the ground and flip clumps of soil over. That buries the most contaminated top layer of soil deep in the ground where the contaminants will dissipate before new roots grow down that far. Then flood the area with a garden hose for at least 15 minutes. The water will drive contaminants deeper into the soil. Now you're ready for seed or sod. Be sure to water the new grass daily until it's established.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Spade

Leaf rake

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Grass seed or sod