Hot Topics: Rough Lawn Needs a Face Lift

Healthy grass surrounded by a large patch of dead grass and soil.

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As winter loosens its grip, some of us are seeing our lawns for the first time in months. And some of those lawns will have fared better than others. One member’s lawn took a pretty good hit, and he needs to start from scratch. The forum showed him how.

Original Post: My Lawn is rough and needs a face lift....

RGYardTN Member

I live in Nashville and have been fighting my lawn with any knowledge that I thought I have. I now need to scrap it and start over but I have never done this and need a step by step game plan.

The area has a bit of morning shade but ample amount of afternoon and midafternoon sun. Sodding sounds expensive and I would like to approach this in the most cost effective way while also producing results quickly and building a strong foundation. I need help so please give me the step by step!


mitch17 Group Moderator

Welcome to the forums.

My first step would be to get a soil test done and the second would be to provide more detail here about what's wrong and what you've tried to do about it.

RGYardTN Member

Thanks Mitch17.

I have overseeded, dethatching, aeration, fertilizers, as well as trimming trees to allow for more sun light to get through. There are a lot of weeds, not sure what type they are. It is very uneven as well, and I would like to make it where my 16-month-old can walk across it without twisting his ankle the whole time.

Does that help?

Zorfdt Forum Topic Moderator

To give the basic steps, you need to:

Likely kill everything that's there now. Weed killers work okay, but if the lawn is mostly weeds, you'll want to kill everything using a broad spectrum herbicide or something more natural like covering the area with black plastic for a week or so. The heat trapped under the plastic should sterilize any seeds or seedlings.

Rototill the whole area. This will break up the soil and is a good time to add soil amendments. Manure or organics. A soil test (like Mitch said) is a good way to see how much NPK is required. Most soil test places will tell you how much of what you need to add to get the soil back on track for grass.

Grade and rake out the whole area.

Plant seed that's recommended for your area. Either one type of seed, or a mix.

Water, water, water.

Continue to monitor the soil and add fertilizer based on what's needed (instead of the spring/summer/fall generic fertilizer)

The main trick is to ensure the grass has everything it needs to grow. As long as the grass has what it needs, it should crowd out most of the weeds.

See all the advice RGYardTN got at: //