• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook breathes new life into a dead lawn.

    1. Loosen and remove dead grass from lawn with garden rake.
    2. Use walk-behind broadcast spreader to apply starter fertilizer to the lawn.
    3. Broadcast grass seed by hand over all bare spots in lawn.
    4. Work grass seed into soil with the backside of a leaf rake.
    5. Use a shovel to spread ¼-inch of compost over the seeded areas.
    6. Lightly mist the area with a garden hose. Keep the area moist to ensure healthy growth.
    7. In late-fall, cut lawn for last time as short as possible. And don't fertilize until the following spring.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Requires some light hand work and a little patience
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake
      • walk-behind spreader
        Walk-behind broadcast spreader
      • plastic rake
        Leaf rake
      • square shovel
        Square-blade shovel
      • wheelbarrow

      Shopping List

      Type 12-24-11 starter fertilizer, used to promote root growth

      Grass seed, used to create new lawn

      Compost, for enriching the grass seed