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Fixing Dead Spots in Your Lawn

How to restore those troublesome dead patches in your lawn

man bending down to reseed dead grassFamily Handyman
See dead spots in grass at home? Here's how to fix dead grass and restore healthy grass to areas killed by fertilization or doggy doo-doo.

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Problem: Dead spot in grass

How to fix dead grass: Reseeding dead zones

Seed dead spots only after you’ve turned and soaked the soil. Otherwise, soil contaminants left by fertilizer spills or pets may kill the new grass.

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 are six other common lawn problems and how to fix them.

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. Find out how to fix dog spots with these tips and other lawn problems.

Required Tools for this how to fix dead grass 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 how to fix dead grass project

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

  • Grass seed or sod