Whether in patches or the entire lawn, dead grass does not belong to any lawn. Usually, the single leading contributor to dead brown grass is dehydration, either due to excessively hot weather in the summer or other factors such as lack of nutrients, pests, weeds, and moss infestation.
Before you start planning on how to remove the brown dead grass from your lawn, you need to ascertain if the grass is dead or just dormant. If it is not dead, then you can think of how to revive the dormant grass.
It is bad news if the grass is dead. At that point there is nothing you can do it; get rid of it so that you can plant a new lawn.
How do I remove old dead grass?
You can remove dead grass from your lawn in three main methods; use of a shovel, using a sod cutter, and tilling the lawn under. This task can either be undertaken by an individual or a professional.
1. Use of sod cutter
For a smaller piece of lawn, you can use the manual sod cutter which is much smaller and lighter. The only issue with a manual sod cutter is that you have to work your muscles because you will have to push it deep into the ground by hand.
Alternatively, you can save yourself all this hassle by using an engine powered sod cutter. It operates the same way as a powered lawn mower, saving you the need to push the cutter into the grass.
The best thing about an engine powered sod cutter is that it cuts the sod and makes rolls that are uniform. This is very important for the condition of the sods, especially if you are planning on planting them elsewhere.
But still, this method comes with its drawbacks; you have to manually remove the sods by hand, but this should be much easier than when a manual sod cutter is used. Very unfortunate, you get to lose much of the topsoil which contains nutrients necessary for grass growth.
2. Use of a shovel
If you have a relatively smaller lawn, then you can apply the DIY method of removing dead grass by the use of a shovel. You can have two shovels; one with a flat end and another with a slightly raised edge.
Stick the shovel into the sod then use one of your legs to drive it deep into the sod. Then pull the shovel back a little to loosen the soil before removing the cut sod.
Just to be sure, you can make marks on the sod with dead grass using spray paint, string, or even a rope. Continue this process, cutting through 1 square foot of sod in the lawn until you are done.
You can shake the sod a little to lose most of the soil which carries so much weight. You should remove the dead grass in the summer season because there is much sunlight to loosen the thatch and sod.
3. Tilling the land
There are two types of lawn tillers available; the manually driven lawn tiller and the engine powered tiller. The manual lawn tiller is quite smaller and lighter to use but it is meant only for the extremely handy people because it requires lots of muscles to push into the sod.
The better option to this is the engine-powered lawn tiller; it is larger and heavier but it is easier and faster to use since it does not involve lots of strength to move around.
The best thing about tilling the lawn is that you also get to aerate it in the process. This way, you will not need to do the aeration when reseeding the lawn.
Contrary to other methods of dead grass removal such as sod cutter, you get to keep most of your topsoil when tilling the lawn. This helps in the retention of most of the nutrients that would have been lost together with the sod.
4. Hire a professional
As easy and simple as it may sound, there are still some people who are not willing to try even the simplest DIY. You could also be busy or unwell to engage in such heavy-duty manual work. In this case, you can hire a professional lawn doctor to do the job for you.
Contrary to DIY, professionals are the best option since they are efficient and will do a marvelous job. They are the best option if you want quality work and not ready to take chances with the wellbeing of your body.
They are just a call away; all you have to do is to explain your needs then leave them to make your dream and imaginations come to life.
Does dethatching remove dead grass?
No, by removing thatch, or dethatching a lawn, you do not remove dead grass. This is because thatch and grass are different in terms of appearance and composition.
Thatch is simply a combination of compacted and matted leaves, clippings, roots, stems, and runners. They usually form on the topsoil and are as a result of excessively dry conditions on the lawn topsoil.
Although clippings alone cannot form thatch, they also contribute to the formation of thatch when they do not decompose to form humus.
To remove thatch, you can use a metallic rine rake because the materials are on the topsoil. To removes dead grass, you need to remove the sod on that particular spot.
Removal of thatch is called dethatching. Dethatching is the procedure that gets rid of the layer of dead grass. This takes into consideration a more advantageous, lusher, and greener lawn.
Permitting thatch to grow likewise debilitates the grass around it and will cause significantly a greater amount of it to die or dry off. So dethatching it is significant.
Particularly if you are planting grass and have over a half-inch of thatch in any place in your lawn it should be removed before the new seed is planted.
Do I need to remove dead grass before seeding?
Yes, you need to remove the dead grass before beginning the process of planting new grass. But this is the case only when the grass is completely dead or damaged beyond revival.
Remaining with dead grass can result in the formation of thatch, which impacts the normal growth of grass because nutrients cannot penetrate the topsoil for absorption by the roots.
If the dead grass was caused by grass bacteria and pests, it means the problem persists in the soil. Keeping the dead grass therefore only means the bacteria and pests will spread even further and wider, causing more harm to the healthy grass.
Removing the dead grass helps get rid of the root cause of the death of the grass, setting the center stage for the growth of healthier and greener grass. So yes, remove the dead grass before seeding.