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How to Get Grass to Grow Back

By Laura Wallace Henderson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Although grass provides a widespread ground cover in many yards, parks and business landscapes, grass often suffers from damaging conditions and diseases. Missing patches and sections of grass create an eyesore in the landscape. Replacing grass in bare areas involves removing the cause of the initial damage and replanting grass to blend with existing areas of the lawn. Grow back the lost grass to create a lush, attractive lawn that enhances your landscape.

Eliminate the condition responsible for damaging the original lawn. Determine whether heavy traffic is to blame or the neighbor’s dog caused the damage. Urine from female dogs often creates yellow patches with deep green circles around them. Keep dogs off your grass if you notice these spots. Check for pests and diseases by closely examining the damaged area of lawn. Notice any powdery residue that signals the presence of mildew. Check near the roots of wilted grass blades for grubs, worms and small insects. Treat mildew with fungicide and treat bug-infested grass with pesticides. Select commercial treatments formulated for use on your specific variety of grass. Follow all instructions on the labels when applying grass treatments.

Remove the dead grass plants, including the blades and the roots. Use a sturdy rake to pull out sections of dead grass. Remove remaining grass with a shovel, using caution to avoid removing excessive amounts of topsoil. Overlap the area of removal a few inches into the healthy grass to ensure complete removal of diseased and damaged grass.

Take a soil sample in areas that contain large amounts of dead grass with no evident cause. Use the test results to determine whether the grass suffered from a nutritional deficiency in the soil or high levels of salt. Incorporate any recommended treatments into the soil before planting your new grass seeds.

Rake the surface of the planting area to loosen the topsoil. Lightly sprinkle seeds of the same variety of grass currently growing in other areas of your yard. Apply at the rate listed on the seed container. Gently rake the seeds into the upper surface of the soil to establish contact between the seeds and the soil. Lightly water the replanted area of grass.

Drive small, wooden posts around the newly planted seeds. Tie a string from post to post to encompass the area of new grass. Use this method to keep traffic off this delicate section.

Keep the soil slightly moist during the first few weeks while seeds germinate and grow. Water at the same rate as the existing lawn once the new grass reaches the height of the surrounding grass.

Fertilize your grass with a commercial grass fertilizer once or twice a year, according to manufacturer’s instruction.


Things You Will Need

  • Fungicide
  • Pesticide
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Soil test kit
  • Grass seed
  • Wooden posts
  • String
  • Fertilizer

About the Author


Laura Wallace Henderson, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She has served as the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." She continues to empower and encourage women everywhere by promoting health, career growth and business management skills.