Will Watering Dead Grass Bring My Lawn Back to Life?

It can be very disheartening to see a healthy lawn turn into a dead one. Green grass beautifies the yard, while dead grass ruins it.

There are several factors responsible for making the grass look lifeless; some include excessive heat, drought, faulty irrigation systems, etc.

What many people don’t understand is whether they have a dormant lawn or not.

So let’s get right to the question of Will watering dead grass bring it back?

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Factors that Cause a Yellow and Brown Lawn

Below are common issues that occur that causes and how to fix them when a lawn turns brown.

1. Poor maintenance

Poor maintenance can be responsible for grass dying because it encompasses many aspects of lawn care. It includes improper watering, faulty irrigation and fertilization, lack of weeding, and so on.

After the germination process is done, it’s important to note the appropriate watering care for your specific grass type and water accordingly.

2. Grass seeds and grass plants

will watering dead grass bring it backPin

There are two types of grasses: cool-season grass and warm-season grass.

Cool-season grasses thrive in cold temperatures and short daylight hours, whereas warm-season grasses need warmer climates, strong sun, and long daylight hours.

Related post: Overseeding Lawn: How To Plant Grass Seed On Existing Lawn

3. Drought conditions

Drought is often regarded as one of the main causes for dying grass.

This is because many homeowners don’t adopt an adequate irrigation plan to water their lawns appropriately.

Due to this, when there is a drought, the grass goes dormant from  lack of proper irrigation.

To prevent this, make sure you water the yard correctly at a depth of six to eight inches. This will ensure healthy growth and higher yield [1].

4. Diseases and pests

Turfs are prone to various diseases and pest attacks [2], and if they go untreated, the grass may eventually die.

If you suspect this to be the case, you should look for the brown spots, then consult an expert to diagnose the diseases and find the root cause.

How to differentiate between dead or dormant grass plants

To differentiate between dead and dormant grass plants, homeowners must know the basic differences between brown lawns and dead lawns.

There are several ways to test whether the existing lawn is simply dormant or not.

1. Tug test

The easiest one is the “pull the blades” method. If you notice that the entire your healthy lawns comes out of the soil easily, then there is a high probability that the grass is dead.

If pulling is a bit hard, then there is still hope.

This is because dead roots cannot hold onto the soil firmly, while live roots can still bind the soil particles together.

2. Patches and patterns

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When grass goes into a dormant condition, it takes on a uniform  appearance. What this means is that the entire lawn will become brownish.

This happens due to a lack of water or excessive temperature. At this point, you may also notice dead patches or brownish grasses on the lawn.

3. Watering

Deeply watering the lawn can be a good idea to identify the dormant grasses. If the grass is dormant, it will turn green after receiving sufficient water or good rain.

Remember, your entire lawn can turn brown in 2 or 3 weeks without irrigation.

Related post: Is Watering My Lawn At Night A Good Idea?

Is it possible to revive a dead lawn or dead grass?

Honestly, watering dead grasses is never going to bring it back to life.

However, if your lawn is dormant, then there is still hope. You still need to be cautious because over-watering can also kill the grass.

How to revive brown or Yellowing grass

At this stage, you have two options: you can either revive brown grass, or sow a thin layer of new grass seed to start a new lawn.

To revive the grass, you’ll need to lay new sod and follow the tips discussed below. The laying of the sod is a critical step.

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1. Maintain the yard

The grass may become dormant because of dehydration, and watering can bring it back to life.

If you install a good watering system, then the grass can stay healthy even in dry weather.

Also, fertilization is a must for a green lawn.

Grass seed will germinate well and result in healthy grass when they receive adequate water and nutrients.

2. Remove the weeds

Weeds are the competitors in sucking up nutrients from other plants. These unwanted plants can even prevent newly planted grass from germinating.

Weeds drain the nutrients and water from the soil, leaving it depleted and less suitable for grass.

You can prevent this and keep your grass alive by using weed control.

If you are looking for great weed control plus grass feed, try this weed and grass feed product. It’s a combo of feeding your grass nutrients while killing off the weeds.

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3. Mow

Mowing the yard can effectively help with growth because it’ll fertilize the lawn naturally. Blades of grass are rich in nitrogen.

When grass clippings fall back to the ground,they can add nourishment back into the soil, which can help other plants to grow.


Why Are There Dead Spots On My Grass?

These spots may appear on the plants because of stress and are good indicators of a dying lawn.

To keep your lawn healthy, analyze the weather conditions and adjust the water requirements accordingly.

How Frequently Do I Need To Water Them?

Droughts are responsible for dead lawns as they can dehydrate the soil by evaporating the moisture within quickly.

Grass can survive a few weeks in normal conditions and only a few days in severely hot conditions.

It’s crucial to make a consistent watering schedule for the entire yard when conditions or the land seems too dry.

Do I Need To Fertilize The Yard Frequently?

Over-fertilization can injure the roots and kill the lawn. Fertilizing once every month should be enough.

In between fertilizing, you can mow the grass to prevent it from turning brown.

Related post: Too Much Lawn Fertilizer? How To Fix an Over Fertilized Lawn


To sum up, it’s important for homeowners to properly maintain their lawns and look for possible reasons to kill the grasses.

Lastly, as we discussed, reviving dying grass and a dead lawn by watering alone is not going to work.

That’s why it’s best to start over and plant new seeds or laying sod to get a healthy lawn to boost your home’s curb appeal.

Related post: When to Stop Watering Your Lawn in the Fall

Lastly, if you’re looking for an oscillating sprinkler for your lawn, we highly suggest this oscillating sprinkler because it’s super easy to connect to your hose and it has a self-timer.

Melnor 65021-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillator with 2-Way Adjustment and Timer with QuickConnect...
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  • Built in mechanical timer lets you set how long you want to water, up to 2...
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[1] Michal, K.; Lucia, H.; Hana, P.; Iva, K.; Pavel, K. 2015. EFFECT OF DROUGHT ON YIELD POTENTIAL OF SELECTED GRASS SPECIES. International Ph.D. Students Conference on MendelNet 2015.

[2] https://www.udel.edu/academics/colleges/canr/cooperative-extension/fact-sheets/turfgrass-disease-identification/

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