Top Tips For Reviving a Dry Patchy Lawn

If your grass has become dry, patchy or dead, you can take a few steps to revive the lawn. However, ensuring you do not over-treat the soil or cause more damage is vital.

The best time to repair dry grass is in the same year it has suffered damage, ideally when there is some moisture in the soil. Read on for more tips for reviving a dry patchy lawn.

Water Regularly

The key to reviving a dry patchy lawn is to water it regularly. You can use a sprinkler or a variable nozzle on your garden hose.

It is essential because it gives the grass time to absorb the water without evaporating. It also helps reduce the risk of mould growth.

You will need to water the area at least once a day, but you may need to do this more often if the weather is drier. Try to water in the morning or dusk so the grass can soak up moisture before the sun evaporates.

Another good idea is to use a wetting agent to assist the water in penetrating the soil. These are usually available from a gardening store like Yard Dawgs Lawn Care.

A lawn can be made more resilient to drought by choosing a suitable type of grass like Emerald turf that can cope with a lack of water. It will help it survive long periods without watering and make it more resilient to other stresses like heat and cold.

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If your lawn has dry patches that appear dead and brown, it’s time to revive them. They are one of the most common problems with lawns and are caused by many factors such as foot traffic, drought or weather extremes like high heat and low rainfall.

When it’s time to fertilize your lawn, select a formula with the right proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for your area. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the primary sources of growth, while potassium helps to relieve stress on the grass.

Apply the fertilizer evenly to the affected areas. It’s best to avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause the grass to become brittle and thin.

If you are unsure of the nutrient level of your soil, take a sample to your local Extension Office for testing. Results should be available within a few days and often include fertilizing recommendations.

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Apply a Wetting Agent

Dry patches are often caused by a fungal disease that eats through the soil’s dead organic material, known as thatch. As the fungi decompose the dead thatch, they leave behind water-repellent substances that prevent the surface of the soil from being moist.

Wetting agents are available to purchase in several different forms, such as liquid wetting agents, which can be dispensed via a side dispenser into your irrigation system and tablets, which can be applied to individual problematic areas with a hose diluter.

It is worth testing the effectiveness of a wetting agent by putting a drop of water on bare soil and watching how quickly it soaks into the soil. If it takes longer than 10 seconds, it is unlikely that a wetting agent will help, and you should look at the other possible causes for your dry patchy lawn, such as a low thatch layer or weeds.

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One of the most important things you can do to revive a dry patchy lawn is to aerate it. Aeration breaks up compacted soil and opens the holes in the ground so that air, water and nutrients can penetrate the grassroots.

Lawn aeration is vital because it helps the grass absorb all the nutrients and water it needs to grow strong and healthy. It also keeps the soil from becoming too compacted, which can cause bare patches, poor drainage, weeds and other lawn issues.

Grab a shovel and scoop up a slice of the grass about four inches deep to aerate your lawn. If you find that more than half an inch of thatch is present, aeration will help remove this barrier and allow the grass to absorb more moisture.

Excessive thatch is a problem that several different factors can also cause. Take a shovel and scoop up a piece of thatch that is more than half an inch thick, then measure it again after you have aerated the lawn to see how much thatch has accumulated.

Aerating your lawn will break up the thatch layer and allow water, air and nutrients to get into the roots so they can perform their best. It will also make your lawn more resilient, allowing it to fight off diseases more effectively.


Overseeding introduces new grass seeds to fill bare patches and thicken your turf. It can also help your lawn grow more resistant to disease, pests and weeds. Overseeding introduces different grass seed blends and can even be combined with fertilizer to boost nutrient levels in your soil.

Once the seed is spread, it must be watered regularly to help it germinate and root. Watering lightly will be sufficient to keep the patch surface moist, but you don’t want to overwater, as this can cause the seeds to displace one another and kill your new grass.

When overseeding, it is vital to cut your grass down to an inch or less so that the seeds have better access to the soil underneath. After mowing, bag your grass clippings so they won’t end up back in your yard and prevent the new seed from being exposed to unwanted weeds.

Lastly, aerate your lawn and dethatch it before you overseed to ensure that the new grass has access to air, water and nutrients. If your lawn is compacted, you can topdress the soil, spreading a layer of composted manure on the ground to improve nutrient levels and increase its ability to hold onto water.