How to Kill & Reseed an Existing Lawn

Renovate a poorly performing lawn.
Renovate a poorly performing lawn. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

If your lawn is beyond repair or simply not what you want it to be, you are left with no other option but to kill existing grass and start over. Also called total renovation, the process involves removing existing weeds and grass from the area and starting the planting and care process from scratch. Although time and labor intensive, completely removing poorly performing grass and improving the soil prior to reseeding gives the lawn a better chance to become healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective eyeglasses
  • Glyphosate herbicide
  • Pump sprayer
  • Rake
  • Tiller
  • Dethatcher (optional)
  • Soil pH testing kit
  • Lime or sulfur
  • High-phosphorus fertilizer
  • Organic compost
  • Shovel
  • Grass seed
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch

Tips & Warnings

  • Because glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that kills any vegetation in its way, cover desirable trees or plants with a tarp or cloth while spraying to avoid affecting them. Also select a clear, non-windy day with no forecast of rain at least 24 hours before or after application.


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