Your lawn is the first thing that visitors see when they come to your home. Lush, green grass adds aesthetic and monetary value to your home. On the other hand, dead, diseased lawns detract from your home's value. If your lawn is sickly, patchy and beyond repair with just a few patches, you will need to replant the entire lawn. This can be done without the use of harmful, toxic herbicidal chemicals.
Roll out large sheets of landscaping fabric (or black plastic), if you choose to smother the grass to kill it. Hold the material down with stones or bricks so that it won't blow away. Without sunlight, the grass will die. Check the progress once a week by lifting up an edge of the material.
Use full-strength vinegar if you prefer to kill the grass with a liquid application. Pour the vinegar into a garden sprayer and saturate the lawn completely. Reapply another vinegar treatment a week later.
Combine the two methods for stubborn hard-to kill grass. First spray the grass with full-strength vinegar, then cover it with landscaping fabric. There is no need to reapply the vinegar in this combined method. Check the progress weekly.
Remove dead grass and weeds with a garden rake after the grass has completely died. Pull out as much of the dead matter as possible.
Break up the soil several inches deep, to prepare it for new grass. Rent a tiller or use a hoe or hand tiller. It is important to break up the soil thoroughly. Sod attaches and establishes itself better if its roots can penetrate through the topsoil more easily.
Use a water sprinkler to moisten the soil completely. Sprinkle grass seed or lay new sod atop the prepared soil. Immediately water the seeds or sod with a water sprinkler. Water the seeds or soil regularly, keeping the soil moist until the new grass is established. Thereafter, water according to the needs of the type of grass you are growing.