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How To Fix Dry Patches In Lawn

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How To Repair A Bare Patch Of Lawn

Easy FIX for Dry Spots in Your Lawn

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Bare patches can be a nuisance and usually let the garden down. But there are certain tricks that can be useful in these circumstances. From shade to compaction, there is a solution for most bare patches. This article provides some suggestions for repairing a bare patch of lawn.

How To Repair Bare Spots In Your Lawn

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Bare patches in an otherwise full, healthy lawn may be the result of pet urine, heavy foot traffic, infestations by grubs or other pests, or a variety of other causes. There are several ways to effectively patch these areas, but you also need to consider the causes and correct them if you can. For example, if a bare patch occurs because natural foot traffic continually pounds one area, no fix will be permanent unless you also solve the traffic flow issue. And if the bald spots are caused by a lawn grub problem, new bare patches will crop up as soon as you repair the old onesunless you address the grubs.

There are two easy methods for restoring bald patches in your lawn: reseeding and patching with sod.

Working Time: 20 minutes to 1 hour

Total Time: Two to six weeks

Skill Level: Beginner

Material Cost: $5 to $10

When To Patch Bare Areas Of Your Lawn

Ideally, patching bare areas with seed or sod should be done early in the growing season so it can take root and blend into the surrounding area before the winter dormant season. This ideal time depends on the climate where you live.

Patching with seed: In northern cold-winter zones, the cool-season grasses that are most popular grow most actively in later summer and fall, making this an ideal time for patching with seed. But you can also seed in early spring, provided it’s done early enough for the grass to be well established by the time the hot mid-summer months roll around.

In warm-winter zones where warm-season grasses predominate, late spring and early summer is regarded as the best time to sow grass seed.

Patching with sod: You have a larger window when it comes to patching with sod. Professional recommendations for sodding a full yard are similar as for seedingearly fall for cool-season grasses, late summer for cool-season grasses, but if you are simply cutting patches for bare spots, you’ll likely succeed during most of the growing season, provided you keep the sod patch moist while it is taking hold. Remember that sod supplies at garden centers are seasonal in many regions, so don’t wait too long.

Sod will develop a shallow root system in about two weeks, but a deep root system can take as much as six weeks. If you live in a zone where hard frost arrives in early December, for example, it would be best to plant sod patches no later than mid-October.

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Repairing A Hard Lawn

Some soil types, including those with a clay base, are more likely to become hard and compacted. In minor cases, aeration once a year can be enough to fix the problem.

More severe cases might require more extreme measures, such as lawn coring or cultivating the lawn with a rotary hoe.

If youre not sure about the best way to repair hard spots in your lawn, read our article How to repair a hard lawn.

Diagnosing Lawn Dry Spotswith Easy Solutions

Dry Brown Patches in a Green Lawn

Dry spots can occur anywhere in your lawn at any time of the year. Most occur during summer stress periods with high heat and low rainfall. If not treated the grass can thin out or even dieback. While many grasses can safely go dormant in summer, improper watering can actually do more harm than good.

The picture above is an annual dry patch over clay soil. Here a hole for a septic tank was dug and the clay soil was used to fill the hole back in.

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Repairing An Uneven Lawn

Levelling an uneven section of lawn will make it easier to mow, prevent damage from scalping and eliminate a potential tripping hazard, as well as improving its appearance.

Top dressing gradually, with 10mm at a time of soil or sand, can be enough for relatively shallow depressions.

Fixing deeper indentations will require a different method, known as Lift and Fill.

In this case, the lawn is cut into strips and lifted out. Clean fill is then deposited to the required depth and the lawn replaced on top.

If youre not sure how to repair uneven spots in your lawn, read our article Repairing an Uneven Lawn.

How To Fix Dry Patches In Your Lawn

Jan 29,2020 | Frequently Asked Questions, Lawn Care Tips and Articles, Lawn Maintenance Tips, Seasonal Lawn Care, Sir Walter Buffalo Turf, Weeds, Pests & Problems

Is your yard suffering from lawn dry patches? With summer underway and water restrictions in place, you may have noticed the toll the hot dry weather has taken on your lawn.

Even the healthiest of lawns can become thin, off-colour and develop dry spots over the summer months when the climate conditions deteriorate and homeowners are away on holidays.

One of the most common questions we get asked in regards to lawn care is about dry dead spots and patches in lawns, specifically what causes them and how to fix them.

If this is one of your lawn care concerns or youre interested in learning how to avoid dry spots in your lawn, please read on.

What are the possible causes of dry spots in your grass?

Not all dry patches in your lawn are created by the same cause. Here are some common reasons you might be seeing these dead spots.

  • Heat exposure, possibly combined with foot traffic and a lack of water absorption
  • Dog urine
  • Grub or pest damage .
  • As this article is being published in the warmer season, were going to focus on the first cause and lawn care for dry spots.

    How does a dry spot happen?

  • Areas of the lawn thin out due to traffic, fungus or uneven water/filtration
  • The thin areas change colour and become bare as they sit in the hot sun
  • The sun bakes any bare patches which makes them rock hard
  • Step 1 Aeration:

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    How To Treat Dry Patches In Your Lawn

    Hot and dry weather can really take a toll on even the healthiest lawns and cause them to become thin and patchy. This usually happens over the summer months, as the weather is hot and dry and lawn owners are generally on holidays or too busy to keep up their regular lawn maintenance schedule. It only takes a couple of days of hot, dry weather to affect your lawn.

    Usually what you will see is bare patches throughout the lawn or your lawn wouldve started to thin out and change colour. What follows this, is those bare patches bake in the sun and become rock hard making it difficult for water and nutrients to get into the soil. This is commonly known as dry patch and appears regularly in lawns throughout the summer.

    Dry patches in your turf are not all created by the same issue.

    How To Fix Dead Patches In The Lawn

    How to Fix Dry Spots in your Lawn

    Summer is rough on a lawn. Patchy dead spots can come from all sorts of directions, including fungal diseases such as brown patch and rust, animal digging, grub damage, dog urine and plain, old heat and drought. Whatever the cause, late summer through early fall is prime time to patch the patchiness.

    Grass seed germinates well in those cooler, damper conditions. Then the young roots get off to a good start in soil thats still reasonably warm for growth. Early spring is also a good time to patch, but youll need to pay more attention to watering as the weather turns hot and dry. Young grass plants are more vulnerable to heat and drought stress than established grass.

    Especially in hot areas, early-fall lawn-patching is best because that gives young grass 6 or 7 months of potential root growth before hitting its first test in the summer oven.

    Heres the process:

    1.) Clear out any dead, matted turf and other debris. Grass will germinate and root best when it comes into contact with soil.

    2.) Loosen the soil. At least scratch the surface, or better yet, dig and loosen the top 2 or 3 inches. If the soil is particularly poor, work in a little compost or similar organic matter. Dont just toss seed on top of hard ground.

    4.) Fertilize. Get new growth off to a good start by scattering a small amount of lawn fertilizer specially formulated for new grass.

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    How Do I Fix Them

    These seven easy steps will help you restore your lawn to its original condition:

  • Remove dead material to expose the soil underneath it.
  • Loosen the soil with a rake or hand tool.
  • Flush damage from dogs and spills with water to move the contaminants through the soil.
  • If necessary, add topsoil to bring the area back up to grade.
  • Sprinkle seed and lightly scratch it into the soil. Top-dress the area with a light coating of additional soil. Gently tamp.
  • Add starter fertilizer and seed starter mulch.
  • Lightly water and follow with frequent light waterings as the seedlings mature.
  • Whatever the reason for your dry grass, follow these steps to restore your lawn. But before fixing these trouble areas, its important to know why they occurred. You wouldnt replace wet carpet without fixing the hole in the roof. The same logic holds true here. Remember, dry grass is only a symptom of the underlying problem that created it. Youll want to correct those problems first. Otherwise, the same dry grass will return.

    How To Repair A Lawn & Seed Bare Patches

    Water’s only part of what you need to fix those dead spots in your lawn and keep them from coming back.

    Bald. Bare. Thin. Whatever you call it, one thing is certain: Patchy lawns stink. Until automatic, self-repairing lawns are invented, we’ve got the next best thing quick and easy bare spot repair. Read on for the simple how-to, plus a few extras for keeping your lawn looking lush even longer.

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    Water Alone Won’t Work

    Most of us know that wishing and hoping bare spots fill in on their own is futile. Did you also know that watering those bare spots and doing nothing else won’t work either? Sure, water is essential for growing a green, healthy looking lawn. But water’s only a part of what you need to fix those dead spots in your lawn and keep them from coming back.

    Mowing Your Lawn On A Higher Setting

    How To Fix Dry Patches In Your Lawn

    Cutting your grass is so, so important to maintaining a healthy lawn. But because its the most common aspect of lawn care, its rarely given the respect or consideration it deserves.

    Dry Patch is a hot weather condition so keep cutting the grass once every 7-10 days during the summer months. This will help maintain good root strength but keep your lawn mower on a higher setting and just take the top off the grass. NEVER cut more than a third off the height.

    Also, leave the clippings on the lawn.

    Read:In-Depth Guide to Cutting the Grass

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    How To Treat Dry Patch

    If your lawn is suffering from dry patch, its best to get the experts in as it can be extremely difficult to rehydrate hydrophobic soil.

    A professional will be able to check that it is dry patch affecting your lawn and carry out a bespoke treatment that will solve the problem. This will often involve an aeration treatment and the application of a wetting agent, and might need repeating several times to eradicate the problem. This sometimes then needs to be followed by overseeding to then replace the damaged or dead grass.

    In extreme circumstances, the area of turf might need to be renovated completely.

    If you think your lawn might have dry patch, get in touch with Greensleeves today! You can call us on 0808 100 1413 or fill out a form on our contact page.

    What Causes Brown Spots In The Lawn

    Discover the most common causes of brown patches in your yard and how to treat them.

    It can be alarming and frustrating to see brown spots ruining what would otherwise be a beautiful green stretch of grass, especially if youre not sure how they got there or what to do about them. Brown spots in the lawn can show up for many different reasons, so the first step toward treating them is to identify the cause of the problem. Below are the most common causes of brown spots in the lawn and how to treat them so you can get your lush green lawn back.


    Brown spots due to fungal problems usually show up as irregular patches. If the disease has been active for a while, the inside of the patch may recover, leaving a ring of dead grass around it. Extremely rainy or humid weather can encourage fungal outbreaks, as can lack of sunlight and poor air circulation. Although you cant control the weather, there is something you can do to protect against fungus. ApplyScotts® DiseaseExLawn Fungicide according to the label directions to not only treat active diseases, but also to prevent future problems from listed fungi.


    Dog Urine Burns

    Weed Dieback

    Dead spots can also occur in the lawn when annual weeds like crabgrass, annual bluegrass, and foxtail begin to die back. This is a natural cycle that can be avoided with proper lawn maintenance and quickly patched withScotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair. As always, be sure to follow the directions on the label.


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    How To Repair Your Lawn Patches

  • Remove all dead grass, weeds and their roots from the patch. Lightly rake the bare soil, breaking up any hard lumps or compacted soil surfaces
  • Apply Gro-Sure® Smart Patch Repair to the patch with the built-in spreader up to a 2mm depth
  • Water with a fine spray to moisten the mixture and activate the seed
  • You can apply slightly less when covering thin grass rather than a bare patch
  • Aftercare: You can mow the patch for the first time when the grass is 5-8cm high. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the grass leaf at any one time. Feed your lawn after the first 2 cuts.

    How To Tell If Your Lawn Is Suffering From Dry Patch And Not Something Else

    Dry, patchy lawn What can you do about it?

    There are many reasons your lawn could turn patchy and brown, but it might not always mean your lawn is suffering from Dry Patch.

    Other causes include insects and pests, like Chafer Grubs or Leatherjackets, fungal diseases like Fusarium Patch, Pink Patch and Dollar Spot can look like it. As well as spilled lawnmower fuel, or even dog urine.

    So how do can you positively identify Dry Patch?

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    How To Repair Bare Patches In Your Lawn

    You pride yourself in a beautiful lawn and for the most part, you have it looking great. But there a few hideous bare patches preventing your lawn from looking its best.

    Bare patches can occur due to excess compaction in certain areas of your lawn. You will usually find these bare patches on worn paths in the backyard, in a path to the pool, back shed or the clothesline. The excess wear causes the ground to go hard making it difficult for the turf to grow a runner through the compacted ground. A good way of looking at it is through the analogy of pushing a screw driver into sand, vs pushing a screw driver into asphalt. The same principal applies with a turf runner trying to grow through non-compacted ground vs compacted ground.

    Here are our two recommended methods for repairing bare patches:

    Method 1

    If your bare patches are fairly small , you can fix these patches without having to buy turf.

    Whilst your grass is repairing, it is important to minimise traffic as much as possible. Depending on the time of the year and the size of the patch, the repair process will generally take a couple of months to fully complete.

    Method 2

    The second method, which is preferred, is to lay new turf to the affected bare area. It is also recommended to use this method on smaller areas as it is quicker, easier, and much cheaper in the long run.

    For turf suppliers in your area click here.

    Check out the Lawn Solutions Australia lawn care page for more helpful tips and advice here.

    Aerate The Soil And Apply A Wetting Agent To Help The Soil Absorb Water

    First, scarify your lawn to remove and excess thatch. If the soil is water repellent then scarify deeply. The removal of thatch will take away the food source of the fungi that caused the soil to become hydrophobic in the first place. It will also aid in the recovery.

    Then, spike the affected areas of lawn densely and to a depth of 3-4 inches with a garden fork.

    And lastly, apply a wetting agent like The Lawnsmiths Yucca Wetting Agent.

    Whats a Wetting Agent?

    A wetting agent essentially makes water wetter by breaking its surface tension. This means water droplets spread far more thinly and as a result, the water can more easily penetrate the soil profile.

    Chances are, youll re-apply the wetting agent once a month for 3-5 months before you see a recovery.

    If that doesnt work, or you want to fix the problem as quickly as possible

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