Answer: If there's more bare earth than grass, you might want to start all over rather than try to nurse the existing grass back to health. Begin by rototilling the entire area, raking out all the old grass and roots, spreading organic matter over the area and tilling it in to a depth of about 8". Then rake the area level and broadcast grass seeds. If there's more grass than bare spots, you can simply rake the bare soil to roughen it up and then broadcast grass seeds over the whole lawn. Over-seeding will help thicken the existing lawn and the seeds that fall on the bare areas will root and fill up the empty areas.
Fall is a great time to renovate an old lawn or establish a new lawn.
Good luck with your project!
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