Whether it is merely seeding or turfing an entire yard, planting grass can be quite labor intensive. Renovation is possible without completely re-establishing the lawn, however, and is best for those looking to quickly improve the look of an existing lawn. If half or more of the lawn has the desired turf, according to the Clemson University Extension, it is possible to renovate the lawn without tearing out old grass and starting the yard from scratch.
Remove soil samples from the problem areas. Send the samples to a local university extension for analysis. Add amendments to the soil as recommended by the test results.
Remove all weeds from the seeding area by hand or apply a post-emergent herbicide over the area. Follow the label instructions for any herbicide.
Aerate the lawn to remove dirt plugs from the soil to ease compaction, improve irrigation and provide a place for the seed to land. Aerate the lawn with three to five passes of an aerator, recommends the University of Minnesota.
Mow the lawn and apply fertilizer to the soil, following the soil sample recommendations.
Spread grass seed at 1 lb. per 1,000 square feet using a seed spreader. Apply 1 inch of water immediately to begin the germination process. Water the area once a day for two to three weeks to prevent the seeds from drying out.