A freshly treated lawn by a professional lawn care company.

How to Replace Dead or Damaged Grass in 7 Steps

Tired of those brown patches scattered across your lawn?

There are all sorts of factors that can cause your grass to die—neglect, extreme heat, disease, grubs, insects, and more.
Fortunately, dead or damaged grass can be restored with proper lawn care and grass maintenance.

Seven Steps for Addressing Your Dead Grass and How to Replace Grass

1. Remove any dead grass and debris

The best way to remove dead grass is to rake away all dead areas. That said, there are other steps to take if you want to get rid of dead grass the right way. Before getting started, it’s important that you clear the different areas where you plan to plant new grass seed.
This includes removing patches of dead grass, clay, stones, leaves, thatch, bark, sticks, or any other items that could prevent your seed from taking root.

2. Test the pH level of your soil

If you want to give your new grass the best chance to thrive, you should make sure that the soil has a relatively neutral pH level of 6.5 – 7. You can test the pH level of your soil with a simple testing meter or by seeing how soil samples react to vinegar and baking soda.

To raise the pH level of acidic soil, you can add an ingredient such as lime or wood ash. To lower the pH level of alkaline soil, you can add certain composts, mulches, or sulphur.

3. Loosen the soil

One of the reasons why you may have patches of dead or damaged grass is because you’re working with hard soil. Before planting new seed, you will want to loosen this soil.
Using a small hand rake, dig up 2 – 3 inches of soil until the area is relatively soft and pliable. If you’re working with a patch of particularly stubborn soil, you may want to add some compost or other organic materials.

4. Spread the grass seed

It’s time to scatter the new grass seed. If you haven’t already chosen the grass you’ll be planting, consider a type that can survive Toronto’s cooler climate—such as Fine Fescue, Ryegrass or Bluegrass. If you need a recommendation for a lawn care professional, don’t hesitate on giving us a call. Our goal is to help you impressed your neighbours with the best lawn in the Toronto Area.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be careful not to be overseed. Once your seed has been spread out, gently dab or scratch some of it into the soil so that it is making good contact.

5. Water gently and consistently

While a healthy lawn only needs to be watered heavily once or twice weekly, new seed requires gentle but consistent watering in order to germinate.
Particularly if you’re planting new seeds during the warm summer months, you may need to water as often as once or twice daily in order to keep the soil damp.

6. Apply fertilizer to strengthen turf

Whether it’s to promote new growth or improve the quality of existing turf, adding some organic-based fertilizer can give your grass a much-needed boost.
Find a fertilizer product for your specific application and apply it to the areas you want to enhance.

7. Tip for mowing lawns: Mow the new grass at 3”

After planting new grass, it’s important that you allow it to reach a height of roughly three inches before mowing for the first time.
For proper grass cutting, be sure to mow gently and only remove one-third from the top of the leaf. This will allow the roots to remain healthy and continue growing.

Could your dead or damaged grass use the touch of a professional lawn care company? Call LawnMart, Inc. today for the best lawn care and grass care services in Toronto!

Michael Schäfer

President – LawnMart Inc.

Years of Experience: 31 Years

  • Land Class 1 and 3 Licenses Since 1993
  • Pest Control Operator License Since 1995
  • PIC Accredited Pest Technician Examiner Since 2004
  • Biting Flies Control License Since 2020

Michael Schäfer is President and Founder of LawnMart Inc. After training privately under Dr. Larry Whiddell of Ohio State University, he became a Lawn Technician at Barefoot Grass Lawn Services (1993) and leveled up to Tree/Shrub Care Manager before taking over all Canadian operations as Area Manager. In 1996, Michael founded LawnMart Inc., which has since grown into a multi-award-winning company that cares for thousands of lawns in the Golden Horseshoe area.