How to Repair Damaged Lawns


Lawn damage may not require a full renovation, but may benefit greatly from correct cultivation practices. Determining the reasons for a decline is required before repairing the lawn. Soil compaction, pests, poor weather or poor care for the lawn may be contributing factors. Once the cause is determined, a gardener will have to decide whether the lawn needs a small repair with overseeding and allowing the existing grass to remain, or whether completely removing the lawn and starting over is the best option.

Step 1

Drive a core aeration machine in two directions across the lawn, crossing passes for the best coverage. Core aeration removes 3- to 4-inch plugs of dirt from the lawn and improves aeration and drainage.

Step 2

Rake the dirt plugs to break them apart and return them to the soil.

Step 3

Apply a broadleaf herbicide for broadleaf weeds, grass herbicide for grassy weeds or a general herbicide for lawns covered in both before seeding. Apply two to four weeks before seeding to allow the herbicide time to wear off.

Step 4

Apply 1/2 lb. nitrogen fertilizer for every 1,000 feet using a drop fertilizer spreader. Set the fertilizer spreader to the application rate required for your lawn and make two passes on the lawn, one north to south and the other east to west to overlap the fertilizer. Rake the fertilizer gently into the soil surface.

Step 5

Spread grass seed over the existing lawn using a grass seed spreader, applying in the same manner as the fertilizer. Rake the grass seed gently after application.

Step 6

Water the grass seed twice a day to keep the soil lightly moist until the seeds germinate.

Step 7

Mow the lawn once the grass reaches a height of 3 1/2 inches, mowing down to 2 1/2 inches in height.

Things You'll Need

  • Grass seed
  • Drop spreader
  • Rake
  • Core aerator
  • Herbicide
  • Mower


  • Ohio State University Extension: Natural Organic Lawn Care For Ohio
  • University of Illinois Extension: Lawn Repair and Renovation
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Lawn Renovation
Keywords: damaged lawns, repair damaged lawns, lawn care, lawn repair, lawn renovation

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.