Answer: If the grass is at least 50% dead, you'll need to till and rake the lawn area to remove the spent sod and smooth the soil. Tall fescues are great, hardy grasses that withstand wear, high salt content, are less likely to produce thatch, have low disease potential and need less nitrogen than many turf types. To stay healthy, they should be mowed no lower than 2", so if you like a short lawn, you'll need to go with something else. Check with a local lawn care company or Master Gardeners (ph# 413-545-4800) for their advice in choosing a species/variety, since you're in a "transition zone" for many grass types.
New lawns need regular watering in order for the seed to sprout evenly. I do recommend some kind of mulch over the seed to prevent erosion to discourage birds from eating it.
To keep your lawn looking good, remember: it's really a garden of grass, and even though it's tough, it needs regular care to stay that way. Feed, water and mow your turf as specified -- once you have one picked out, we can give you instructions on it's care. Best of luck!
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