The Q&A Archives: Dead / dry lawn grass

Question: My newly purchased home has lawn grass is dead. It went unkept during the time the house was vacant. What can I do to correct the color and overall health of my dead lawn?

Answer: Based on your description I would suggest you begin by running some basic soil tests for fertility and pH. Then fertilize and apply lime as indicated by the test results. This will begin your preparation for major lawn work which is best done in the end of summer to early fall. (Reseeding in the middle of summer is pretty futile, it is just too hot and stressful for the grass to take hold.) I would suggest you work with your local county extension to run the soil tests and make plans for renovation this fall. In the meantime, set your mower blades at three inches and mow as needed, removing no more than one third the grass height when you cut it. This will help hold down weeds and may enable any grass that is still alive to survive until fall. Enjoy your new home and good luck with your lawn!

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