How to revive dead grass fast

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Patches of dead grass can spoil the look and feel of your entire lawn. Grass is very resilient however it can be frustrating when you want to revive your grass fast. Here is how to revive dead grass fast.

  1. Rake out dead grass.
  2. Add high phosphate fertilizer.
  3. Reseed dead patch.
  4. Roll lawn.
  5. Keep watered until established.
  6. Alternatively to points 2-4, plug patch with grass plugs.

When is the best time to revive your grass?

The short answer to this question is “whenever you have time to revive your grass”. We are all busy people and work and play can get in the way of being able to deal with these issues. So relax, and find the best time for you.

The horticultural answer to the question is whenever the lawn temperature is warm. This will be between mid-late spring all the way through to mid-autumn. Reviving a lawn in winter should definitely be avoided.

Identify grass issue

There can be many reasons why a lawn has begun to develop dying or yellow patches. I have written a blog post that describes why a lawn develops yellow or dead patches which might help you identify the source of the problem.

Once you have identified this, remedy the issue and only then begin to revive your dead grass.

Re-seed grass – large area

If the area of your lawn that needs reviving is quite large, follow the following steps to get it back on track.

  1. Purchase the appropriate grass seed for your lawn from a good supplier. You quite often get what you pay for so don’t just buy some off the shelf box of seed from your local DIY store. Make sure that you buy a bag of seed that has the correct blend of seeds to match your lawn and conditions.
  2. Rake the affected area of the lawn. This will have two benefits. Firstly, to remove the dead material from your lawn which will give your new grass the space to grow. Secondly, it will scratch the soil surface, thus increasing the surface area for your new seed to make contact with the soil.
  3. Sow your new seed in accordance with the instructions on the bag/box. It’s important not to over-seed the area. You want to give your seeds the best chance of germinating, and too much competition with other seeds will have a detrimental effect on the results.
  4. Use a lawn roller to press the seeds firmly onto the soil surface. Good seed/soil contact will help revive your grass fast. Alternatively, tread the seeds into the soil with your feet.
  5. Purchase a high phosphate seed fertilizer and apply this to the affected area. Again, apply this as instructed by the manufacturer and don’t be tempted to overfeed the lawn.
  6. Water the lawn in well but be careful not to saturate it as this will wash the seeds away from the dead patch.
  7. Make sure that the lawn is kept watered until the grass has established strong growth. It can usually take between 30 and 60 days for seeds to fully germinate. If you are re-seeding during summer you may need to water the lawn every other day depending on the temperature. This is a judgment call that you will have to make but just make sure that the seeds and soil are kept relatively moist. It’s usually best to water lawns either first thing in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature and light levels are lower.

Plugging a lawn

This is a super-fast approach to getting your lawn back to it’s best. In fact, if you want to revive your lawn instantly, read on.

Dead patches are a perennial issue that affects even the finest lawns. Reseeding a bare patch is an option however, there are many different types of grass and it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve the same blend of grasses to match the rest of your lawn.

One way to achieve a seamless blend is to fill the dead patches with plugs of grass taken from your own lawn. This method will require you to have pre-prepared a seed tray (or more) of grass from your own lawn. But knowing that your lawn is probably going to run into this issue at some point over a growing season, it’s worth investing the time and effort.

To create your own tray, do the following

  1. Take a general-purpose seed tray and fill it with a general compost.
  2. Take a 3-inch deep cutting from your lawn edge or an inconspicuous area of your lawn. This doesn’t have to be too long or wide. Several smaller sections are preferable
  3. Place the cuttings into the seed tray.
  4. Place the tray outside or inside a cold frame.

Ensure that the tray doesn’t dry out over the year. Use a pair of garden shears to “mow” the lawn throughout the growing season.

The grass will eventually fill the tray with the exact blend of grass found in your lawn.

Once a dead spot has appeared on your lawn, rake the affected area so to clear it, ready for the tray to be transplanted into it. Place the new piece of grass onto the patch and use a knife to cut it roughly to the shape of the affected area. Firm the patch in by gently standing on top of it. Water the patch thoroughly. Ensure that the patch is kept watered until the roots have had the chance to knit into the topsoil below.


As you can see above, there are options to revive your lawn in no time at all. Fear not though, grass is a remarkable species that can revive and recover before you know it. Keep the faith and let mother nature take her course. If you can’t wait for mother nature, carry out the steps above and you’ll have your lawn back to it’s finest in no time!