How to Remove Dead Grass From a Lawn


Every homeowner wants a lush green lawn that is the talk of the town. Despite all efforts, however, there are times when the grass in your lawn starts to turn brown, and eventually dies out. There are a number of reasons why grass fails to grow and dies out. Some reasons include poor or improper soil drainage, improper pH level of soil, over or under watering, foot traffic, pests or over feeding with fertilizer. These burnt or dead patches of grass look unsightly and need to be removed before growing fresh grass.

Step 1

Remove patches of dead grass from your lawn only when the planting time is correct for new grass. Warm season grasses are best planted late spring, while cool grasses are planted in early fall.

Step 2

Determine the extent of dead grass in your lawn to decide whether you should remove it manually or rent a dethatcher. You cannot assess this from afar--you have to walk through the lawn to view the damage. Remove small areas of dead grass from your lawn manually, but use a dethatcher for large areas.

Step 3

Wet the area with a garden hose so the soil becomes loose, and use a shovel to dig 2 inches deep into the soil so you can remove patches of dead grass along with the roots, thus exposing fresh soil. To make the task easier, demarcate the area into 1-foot square patches with powdered chalk. Slice through the lines and lift up smaller segments as you work your way across the entire patch.

Step 4

Rent a lawn dethatcher from your local rental company or garden supply center if the area of dead grass is wide. This machine is similar to a lawn mower but pulls out dead grass at root level. Set the calibration to the appropriate grass level and switch it on to begin your work. To make the task easier, divide your lawn into sections and complete one section before moving to another one.

Step 5

Collect dead grass in a wheelbarrow and dispose off appropriately.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Garden hose
  • Shovel
  • Powdered chalk
  • Dethatcher
  • Wheelbarrow


  • Old Lawn
  • North Dakota State University: Lawn Disease
  • How to Fix Dead Spots in Your Lawn
Keywords: dead grass, removing dead grass, dethatching dead grass

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.