About 10 months ago we removed gravel from a narrow strip on the side of our house, tilled up the soil, laid a nice thick layer of top soil, and sowed new seeds. It took a few months but lawn grew in thick and beautiful! I'm not sure the type, I think it may have been Tall Fescue.

After a few months, the dog peed on several spots and the grass started turning brown. Then my husband tilled up part of grass because it wasn't growing back added more seed. Well he's fully given up now and it's on me to bring this grass back to life or he's going to install turf. I hate to resort to turf. I like having natural grass and it was such a pain to get it going in the first place.

I've been watering consistently for the last several weeks but I'm not seeing any regrowth. What's my best bet here? Do I need to start completely over?

1 Answer 1


If the grass is brown and didn't show any sign of recovery after a few weeks of watering, it is dead. A lawn that "looks dead" because of lack of rain usually comes back to life within a week, if it gets enough water (i.e. several hours of steady rain, not a few minutes with a hose pipe!)

The first task is to train the dog to "go" somewhere else, to stop the problem recurring.

Small amounts of urine act as a fertilizer, but what kills the grass is the other constituents, in particular salts that are excreted. Either you need to apply lots of water to to the dead patches to wash those salts out of the topsoil, or dig out the topsoil and replace it - but that is likely to produce an uneven lawn unless you leave the patches bare for several weeks until the new soil has settled and compacted to match the rest of the lawn.

Just sowing more seed without doing the preparation thoroughly is a waste of time and money, but if you start now, you can plan to reseed the bare patches in about September, when the soil temperature is still warm but the sun is not going to dry the soil quickly or scorch the newly germinated grass.

  • It would be good to use "seed" of grass that grows well in the location; not something like annual rye. Jul 10, 2020 at 19:13

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