Will Watering Dead Grass Bring It Back?

As a homeowner, you know that you have many things to worry about. HOA warnings, outdated appliances, door-to-door salesmen, and leaky roofs are just a few that probably come to mind. 

One of the worst, however, is a dead lawn. Patches of yellow or brown grass can completely ruin your picturesque white-picket-fence image. 

When you see that your grass is no longer a healthy green color, you panic. You turn your sprinklers on and lunge for the nearest hose faster than you can say, “My lawn is dead!”

But first, you should ask yourself: “Can dead grass come back?” There’s no point in running up your water bill if it’s a hopeless cause. 

Read this guide if you’re wondering, “Will watering dead grass bring it back?” With our advice, your lawn will once again become the best-looking one on the block. 

Determine If Your Grass Is Dead vs. Dormant

Before you worry about how to get green grass again, you should determine if your lawn is dead or dormant.

Don’t worry — you don’t have to be a lawn care expert to make this call. Here are a few simple tests you can run yourself: 

Analyze Color

dead lawn

Are you wondering, “Is yellow grass dead?” It could be, but it could also be dormant. The same goes for the color brown. 

Color isn’t the best indicator of what the situation is. To make an accurate call, use the other tests we discuss. 

Tug on an Affected Patch

Go outside and locate a rough-looking patch. Using a claw-shaped hand, grab a clump and give it a gentle tug.

The roots of dormant grass will still cling to the soil, meaning they won’t easily come out of the ground. But if your gentle tug uproots the clump, you likely have dead grass. 

Look for Patterns

For this next test, all you have to do is look at your yard. If your entire lawn is brown or yellow, dormant grass is likely the culprit. 

Dead grass, on the other hand, tends to appear in patches. Patterns could indicate the presence of disease, fungus, or even pests. In some cases, they might even be the result of old age.

Now, realize that patches don’t always indicate dead grass. Lawns with different types of grasses may have patches because one species is dormant while the others aren’t. 

Water for a Few Days

Want to verify your call? Give your lawn extra water for a few days. Ensure your sprinklers/hoses are directly spraying the affected areas. 

If brown/yellow spots don’t improve, you likely have dead grass patches. First, though, realize that scorching weather can delay the revival of dormant grass. 

Will Dead Grass Come Back? 

So, you ran the tests, and the outlook isn’t positive. So, the question is, “Will watering dead grass bring it back?”

Unfortunately, no. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but dead grass is just that — dead. No amount of watering or fertilizing can bring it back. 

But don’t worry — you can still fix your lawn! Here’s how to proceed: 

Add Sod or Sow New Seed

You’ll need to add sod or sow new seed. Of course, it’s best to remove the dead grass patches first, but in some cases, it’s practical to lay new sod over your existing lawn. 

Don’t Let History Repeat Itself

After spending money on new sod, you need to take care of it. Unless, of course, you want to deal with dead sod in as little as a few weeks. 

First, determine the answer to “Why is my grass turning yellow?” This way, you can be proactive about protecting your new lawn and don’t have to worry about dealing with dead grass for the same reasons.

For instance, if dying grass occurred because of foot traffic, you can let your family know to stay on the driveway. Or, if it was because of disease or fungus, you can hire a professional to mitigate the problem.

Related: Drought Tolerant Front Yard Ideas

Can I Revive a Dormant Lawn?

Running the tests may reveal that the answer to “Is yellow grass dead?” is no. You can bring a dormant lawn back to life in a few simple steps: 

Water, Water, Water

watered grass

There are many potential answers to the question, “Why is my grass turning yellow?” But no matter the reason, give your lawn plenty of water. Roots can extend as deep as 5 inches, so ensure that there’s plenty of moisture and compensate if the climate is super dry. 


Fertilizer is important for giving your lawn the nutrients it needs to bounce back. However, in our 29 years of experience, our team at Lawnman knows that too much fertilizer will do more harm than good. Hiring a professional will ensure your lawn gets a healthy balance. 

Control Weeds

Weeds might be the answer to, “Why is my grass turning yellow?” That’s because these freeloaders compete for moisture and nutrients. So, make sure you have a battle plan to keep your weeds in check. 

Keep Mowing

Don’t interrupt your mowing schedule just because your lawn is dormant. Keeping the blades at a consistent height can promote a healthy recovery. 

How to Turn Brown Grass Green Fast

Have guests coming over? We know what you’re thinking — “My lawn is dead! I might as well leave the living room a mess while I’m at it.”

You want to know how to turn brown grass green fast to improve your home’s appearance. Unfortunately, what you really need is time. It will take a few days for your dry lawn to respond to excess watering. 

Interestingly enough, having a dry lawn might be better in this case because you can get the fast solution you’re looking for. Adding sod on top of dying grass can be a temporary cosmetic fix. Just make sure your guests don’t look too closely, as the sod requires a little time to take hold! 

The Bottom Line — Will Watering Dead Grass Bring It Back?

As our “Will watering dead grass bring it back guide?” revealed, you can’t bring back a dead lawn. Dead sod requires new patches or reseeding. However, if you have dormant grass, all you need is good lawn care and a little time. 

Don’t want to deal with this situation again? Then, you’ll be happy to hear that a dead lawn is avoidable with the following tips:

  • Throughout the year, ensure you stay on top of your watering schedule.
  • Give dying grass extra water to bring it back.
  • Even when your lawn looks healthy, keep it moist so that it can withstand extreme weather.

The good news is that you and your lawn don’t have to fight dead grass patches alone. Instead, hire a reliable lawn care service to be your partner in crime! These pros will fertilize, control weeds, and identify problem areas before they lead to dry, old grass. That way, you can spend less time worrying about your dead grass and more hours devoted to enjoying the summer while it lasts.



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