The answer is no, but it could help your lawn in other ways. If you have ever wondered if watering dead grass will bring it back to life, the short answer is no. However, there are some benefits to watering your lawn, even if the grass is already dead.

Will watering dead grass bring it back?

Should I replant my entire lawn?

It’s a common misconception that watering dead grass will bring it back to life. The truth is, when you water dead grass, it can make the problem worse. Following a consistent watering schedule, you can get a better idea of what’s causing the brown color. Watering will help dormant grass become green again, but if the grass is dead, there is no way to bring it back.

Why won’t my grass grow?

No, watering dead grass will not bring it back because the grass is already dead and gone. The best way to prevent your grass from dying in the first place is to water it regularly and deeply so that the roots can grow strong and healthy. If your grass is already yellow or brown, it is too late to save it, and you will need to replant it.

How often should I water my lawn?

A lawn should be watered for about one inch per week. A simple method is to place an empty tuna can on your lawn while watering it. Once the can is full, you’ve given your lawn the equivalent of one inch of water.

What are some signs my grass is dying?

What are some signs my grass is dying?

If your grass is brown and lifeless, it is probably dead. Dead grass cannot be revived. It is dead if you pull on the grass, and it comes out easily with no resistance. If your grass is just dormant, it will resist, or you will have to work hard to pull the blades out of the ground.

What are some common causes of dead grass?

Dead grass has several common causes, including thatch, brown patch disease, and poor watering.

Over or under-watering

Underwatering and overwatering create brown or dying grass. When there isn’t enough rain to keep roots alive, underwatering kills grass. Yes, grass turns dormant after a few weeks without water, and most lawns can handle short-term dryness (although they will turn brown). Late summer heat and drought can damage the grass.

Too much water is another issue. Too much daily irrigation might oversaturate the soil. Overwatering stunts grass and root development. Frequent shallow watering can also weaken roots, making them prone to drought and disease.

Depending on temps, lawns should be watered 1 to 1 12 inches weekly.

Irrigation Problems

Coverage Brown patches can also occur when an irrigation system isn’t correctly calibrated for a lawn’s zones. Poor irrigation coverage might leave some parts overwatered, green, and moist while drying out and going dormant.

A healthy lawn requires a well-maintained watering system.

Poor lawn mowing

Lawn health depends on grass length and mowing frequency. Infrequent mowing necessitates a deeper cut to bring grass to the right length, which might inhibit growth or require more watering. Never cut more than one-third of the length. Too short of grass might stress and become brown in the dry season.

The grass should be 2 to 3 inches long. Regular mowing keeps lawns healthy and damage-resistant.


Thatch is the organic layer between your lawn’s soil and grass blades. A thin covering of thatch makes grass more wear- and temperature-resistant. Too much thatch can generate dark blotches by weakening pest- and disease-prone lawns. A half-inch covering of thatch restricts ventilation and prevents water and nutrients from reaching the soil. Instead of dirt, grass roots will grow in dense thatch.

Poor soil conditions and over-fertilization can cause thatch buildup, not grass clippings.

Too much thatch requires dethatching. Caution: dethatching may not be necessary when your lawn becomes brown. Dethatching is the most effective during the growing season and causes the least stress.

Low-quality soil

Lawn health depends on the soil. Compacted or nutrient-deficient soil can damage your lawn’s root system, leaving it prone to insects and disease. Grass pH may not be ideal. Aerating and amending your lawn’s soil will help, but first, test it. It’s useless to treat an unhealthy lawn without addressing its causes.


Weakened lawns are prone to pest invasion. Dead grass and brown spots are symptoms. Try removing a tiny section of brown grass. Damaged roots make pest-infested grass easy to uproot. Grubs and larvae eat grassroots. Our earlier blog post on Crane Flies offers treatment and prevention strategies.


The fungus may cause brown areas on your grass. Hot, humid circumstances, lack of sunshine, and poor air circulation can cause fungal outbreaks. Low nitrogen levels and lack of fertilizer can also cause fungus. Evening watering prevents the grass from drying properly.

Dethatching, aerating, and maintaining adequate nitrogen levels help inhibit fungal development.

Should I replant my entire lawn?

If your lawn has bare spots or dead grass, replenish it. To regenerate grass, prepare and reseed your yard.

How can I revive my dead grass?

How can I revive my dead grass?

Assess the damage

Your grass shouldn’t be dormant. Some grasses become brown and dormant. Crowns? The plant’s base has crowns. The white region produces grass blades.

Healthy crowns? The grass is probably dormant if so. Discolored or dry crowns suggest your grass won’t green up.

Dead grass means it’s time to go DIY.


How to rejuvenate dead grass starts with site preparation. Create a healthy environment for sod or seed to grow. Remove weeds and old grass.

Spray a nonselective herbicide on your yard’s impacted regions. Keep dogs and youngsters two hours away.

Most herbicides dry and become rainproof in two hours. Warm, bright days without rain or wind are ideal for this work. Wait a week so the pesticide can kill undesired plants.

Reduce thatch

Decomposing plant matter can pile up on the soil’s surface. Thatch. Half-inch-thick thatch is max. Otherwise, it hinders the nutrients, water, and air.

Too much thatch hinders roots from growing correctly, which invites illness and insects. Power rake or vertical mower extra thatch.

Tilling aerates the soil

Next, till the soil is 5-6 inches deep. This procedure uses all vegetation. Add 4-6 inches of compost when tilling sandy or clay soil. Organic stuff helps sand retain water. It reduces clay’s mass.

Soil-fertilize after testing

Phosphorus testing is wise. Phosphorus strengthens roots. If your grass needs phosphorous, distribute it evenly. Soil testing may not be necessary. In this instance, buy a grass-starter fertilizer. This fertilizer promotes grass growth.

New seed or sod

Sod may cover large brown lawn expanses. Plug or plug smaller gaps. Each piece of sod must fit tightly against its neighbor. Their roots must be securely planted.

If you’re planting grass seed instead of sod, spread it out evenly. Ensure seed-to-soil contact. Soil the seed.

Rolling the sod

Roll the whole area after planting. Most household equipment rental stores have rollers. Rolling promotes seed-to-soil contact.


After planting and rolling, water it well. Don’t let your grass become moist. Moisture will promote new growth.

For the first several weeks, you may need to water daily. Gradually reduce grass watering. Keep the soil moist but not soaked. Deep watering develops grassroots. Too many light treatments will raise the roots.

Gently tugging sod can reveal if roots are taking hold. When the sod doesn’t come up, the roots are deep.

Don’t drive a lawn mower or other heavy equipment over fresh grass too soon. Don’t step over till roots grow. Wait to mow fresh grass until it’s double the intended height.

What are some preventative measures for dead grass?

Aerate your soil, fertilize in the fall and spring, and remove thatch to help prevent your grass from dying. Insecticides are a last-ditch effort because many contain harsh chemicals that can run off into your soil and water supply.