How to Improve a Bad Lawn in 7 Simple Steps

Bad Lawns can occur due to any number of natural reasons, it can also happen due to human errors here or there.

Regardless, I’ll help you know how to improve a bad lawn, by understanding the problem and providing a solution to every human error possible.

Then, I’ll give you pretty simple steps on how to improve a bad lawn, and how to maintain it afterward.

By the end of this guide on Lawn Advisors, you’ll have a table with the most known problems causing bad lawns, and the prevention/intervention required for each problem.

Understanding the Problem is Key

When you encounter any problem with your lawn, always get to the root of the problem “pun intended”.

Was the lawn hit by some kind of bacteria? Is it the cold weather? Did you overfeed it? The better you understand the problem of a bad lawn, the easier it’ll be for you to fix it.

My goal here is to understand the problem, improve the environment, and maintain the already improved & cured bad lawn.

How to Improve a Bad Lawn

When Should I Mostly Improve a Bad Lawn?

A bad lawn is never good for the eye, nor is it healthy for the whole ground.

This will significantly damage your house’s overall beauty, and would also damage its price in case you’re trying to sell it.

Don’t worry, bad lawns happen naturally in 1 season, as you’ll only see it after the winter’s ice has melted.

Snow would easily cover the whole lawn in the winter, but it’s the ice that does the damage.

Once the ice has been formed on the plant cells, it will crush them to death.

This causes sections of the lawn to be damaged and require improvement.

What Would Cause a Bad Lawn?

In other words, how can a bad lawn be formed? What human errors could cause such damage to a dearly-maintained lawn? This is an important step before knowing How to Improve a Bad Lawn.

1. Over-Fertilizing The Lawn

Overfeeding your lawn is as bad as overfeeding any living creature, it’s bad for growth and can sometimes lead to burnt-out patches of lawn.

2. Over-Scalping The Lawn

Scalping is the method of mowing the lawn lower than needed, damaging the main parts of the lawn along the way.

Over-scalping means damaging the whole patch of the lawn causing it to die/stop growing.

3. Overwatering

Similar to over-fertilizing the lawn, overwatering can really damage the lawn.

Additionally, overwatering has been more common than under-watering the lawn, and in some climates, that’s far worse.

4. Choosing the Wrong Grass/Soil

Maybe you’ve picked a type of grass or soil that works for a couple of months, but when the weather changes, it won’t be able to sustain throughout those strange weathers, causing them to die.

Choose the right Grass-Soil combination for your climate/weather.

5. Bad Maintenance

Bad maintenance can be the main reason why people have bad lawns. The aforementioned errors can be disastrous in themselves.

However, overwatering or over-fertilizing can cause other bacterial & fungus infections, which doubles the problem in no time.

How to Improve a Bad Lawn

How to Improve Bad Lawn

Here’s the step-by-step procedure needed to improve a bad lawn into a healthy & good-looking one:

  1. Remove Bad Lawn: Bad lawn is easy to remove since it’s rootless. Then, water the soil well to get rid of anything potentially damaging in the soil. There’s a rare condition where the whole area is damaged, if that’s the case then you should dig the whole area out, and attempt to replace it with new topsoil.
  2. Lawn-Aeration Time: You’ve removed the bad lawn, now we need to create holes in the soil to allow better airflow and easier access for fertilizers.
  3. Apply Proper Fertilizers: Every soil/grass combination has its own fertilizers, applying any low-quality or improper fertilizer will take us back to square one. Make sure you choose the correct fertilizer for your grass.
  4. Plant Fresh Grass Seed: Now it’s time to plant the fresh seed in the newly fertilized area. Rake the seed into the area, and overseed bordering areas if possible.
  5. Keep It Watered: Keep the whole area watered whenever possible, and water it at least once a day. If you live in hot weather, then water more often, double or triple the times you water the area.
  6. Protect from Birds & Mice: Birds and mice are your worst enemies, they will want to feed on the seed. It’s better to cover the area with netting of some sort.
  7. Overlooked Topdressing: Topdressing is one of the most overlooked methods of improving a bad lawn. It can play a really impactful role in improving the lawn using the correct composition.

How to Maintain a newly-improved Bad Lawn?

  1. Make sure you’ve planted the proper soil/grass combination.
  2. Monitor your irrigation system as much as you can, watering has to be done effectively, not to over or underwater the lawn.
  3. Correct mowing level is a MUST.
  4. Act fast in the case of bacterial or fungus infection.
  5. Prevention is key, don’t over-fertilize or overwater or under-look both factors.

How Long Should I Wait for Bad Lawn to Be Improved?

Once you’ve done the whole step-by-step procedure on How to Improve a Bad Lawn, you should wait for at least 3 weeks before having noticeable improvement at hand.

Throughout those 3 weeks, keep the whole area moist, water it often, and care for birds and mice.

When the lawn is growing back up, try not to attempt any mowing until the new lawn is nearly 6 inches high.

How to Improve a Bad Lawn FAQ


Do you have any questions on how to improve a bad lawn? Don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments section below, we’ll get back to you asap.

Until that time, you have a step-by-step procedure explained on the process, and how to maintain it after improving it, in addition to more precious information.

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