How To Fix Dead Patches In The 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.
How Much Should I Water My Lawn To Avoid Dormant Grass
Watering your lawn isnt a precise science, but it is important that you dont provide far too much or far too little. Underwatering leads to dormant grass and overwatering can drown the lawn, doing more harm than good by limiting oxygen availability in the soil.
You should aim to water your lawn every other day early in the morning or at dinnertime. The morning is often cooler, which allows the water to be absorbed before it evaporates in the sun. Watering in the early evening means itll still get some sunlight but still lets your grass dry before it is completely dark.
In terms of quantity, your lawn should receive about an inch of water per week from rain or manual watering. You can test your lawns moisture by sticking a screwdriver or other tool into the soil, and if it is wet 6-8 inches down, it is properly hydrated.
You can also tell if you are watering your lawn enough by placing an empty tuna can in the area to be watered. When the tuna can has about an inch or so of water in it then you have adequately watered your lawn.
Dead Patches From Urine Burn
If youre reading this because the damage is already done then hopefully the above helps with reducing future damage. Existing dead urine burn patches, less than two inches across will more than likely grow over in a month or two. If the patches are bigger or you want to speed recovery in smaller patches:
- Rake out the dead grass
- Prick the soil surface about 1cm deep with the garden fork
- Lightly sprinkle in grass seed that matches your existing lawn about 10 20 seeds per square inch, no more
- Tread the surface to firm
- Water lightly and at least daily for the first 2 weeks
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Why Do These Spots Happen
Understanding why dog pee spots happen will help to stop them from showing up in the future. Scientists are still figuring out what specifically in dog urine causes grass to die. We do know certain chemicals commonly found in dog urine contribute to killing your grass. As your dogs liver breaks down toxins, compounds like urea and lactic acid are formed. Urea contains high levels of nitrogen, and lactic acid burns. The more concentrated dog pee is, the more of these compounds it contains. Typically, concentrated dog pee even gives off a stronger scent.Water in your dogs urine evaporates soon after your dog pees on your grass, leaving strong chemicals behind. These chemical compounds mean that when your dog does their business on your grass, it can be like dousing your lawn with ammonia. If left unaddressed, urea and lactic acid can kill grass down to its roots. At the same time, nitrogen can actually fertilize the grass at the outer edges of the spot where levels are less concentrated. This is what gives dog pee spots their signature circular appearance of brown grass with a ring of bright green around them.
Test And Fertilize The Soil
To prepare the soil for new sod or grass seed, you need to determine the nutrient levels and adjust them to create the ideal environment for new grass. The best way to find out what your soil needs is to take a sample to your nearest Extension Office for testing. Many offices charge a small fee and return results in just a few days. Results from an Extension Office are often more useful than an at-home test because they usually include fertilizing recommendations. Once you know what your soil needs, go to your local garden store to find the right fertilizer and apply it to your lawn.
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How To Repair Patches
If the patches are verygreen:
Use a quick release fertiliser such asour QUICK RELEASE: Spring / Summer onthe rest of the lawn toachieve one uniform colour on the lawn
Apply at a rate of 70g per m2, andensure to water the fertiliser in until it is dissolved
Keep pets off the lawn duringapplication and until the granules are dissolved
If the patches are yellow/ brown:
Firstly, mow your lawn as you wont be able to while thenew grass is establishing
Scarify the area to remove as much of the damaged grassas possible, aiming for bare soil
Rake the patch so that the soil is fine, loose and level.If it is not level to the rest of the lawn, fill in with top soil and rake tolevel
Use our QUICK RELEASE: Pre-Seed toaccelerate growth, apply at a rate of 70g per m2 and ensure to water thefertiliser in until it is dissolved
Keep pets off the lawn duringapplication and until the granules are dissolved
Once the granules are dissolved,overseed with our FAMILY: Kids and Pets mixfor fastest results sowing at a rate of 35g per m2
Keep the patches moist by wateringdaily for the first 6 weeks after sowing. Avoid if there is prolongedrainfall.
You can mow the patches alongside the rest ofthe lawn when the blades are hitting 5-7cm and have been established for atleast 6 weeks
Replace The Turf And Soil Of The Affected Area
The other option is to replace the turf and soil in the affected areas of your lawn.
Remove the affected turf, plus 3-4 inches of good-looking turf around it. By removing 3-4 inches extra you can be confident that youve not left any fungi which can go on to infect the rest of your lawn.
Next, dig out the soil to a depth of at least 20cm. If you can, dig deeper without affecting the sub-base of your garden, dig to 30cm.
Now, replace the soil with a good quality topsoil and either lay new turf or re-seed the area. If its possible, try to match the turf or seed to your existing lawn. Theres nothing more odd-looking than a patch of lawn that looks completely different from the rest.
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How To Build Up Your Turf
Maybe the problem with your lawn isnt just a few dead patches, but instead is weak, thin grass throughout the lawn. In that case, apply a fertilizer product for thick, green grass. A single application with a spreader distributes the seed, fertilizer and soil improver that will improve your turf.
Whether you need the right planters, seeds or potting soil, The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.
How To Fix Dry Patches In Your Lawn
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.
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?
Step 1 Aeration:
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How To Stop Dog Urine From Killing Grass Naturally
On top of the maintenance and repair aspect, a big part of the battle is prevention, made possible when you train your dog. There are a number of factors that contribute to how much nitrogen your pet produces and how their habits can affect the health of your grass. With the proper nutrition, you can dilute the urine your dog produces so that it does not harm your green grass.
With the proper nutrition and hydration, you can dilute the urine your dog produces so that it does not harm your green grass.
According to our expert, the main grass type in Edmonton and Alberta is Kentucky Bluegrass. This type of grass is the worst in terms of bouncing back after the turf has been damaged, so preventing damage in the first place should be your main priority
Lets look at a couple of factors that can contribute to lawn stains.
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How To Keep Your Lawn Lush And Green
The most effective way to prevent dog urine spots is to water the area immediately after your dog urinates. If you have easy access to a hose or a rain barrel, give the area a quick dousing. I also have a tub in my sink that I use to catch excess water when Iâm at the sink instead of letting it go down the drain, I collect it and use it to water my plants. This idea could be used to water the lawn as well, while remaining mindful of the environment.
The kind of grass you put in your yard also determines how well it will tolerate dog urine. So, if youâre planting â or replanting â a lawn, choose your grass type with that in mind. Fescue and perennial ryegrass are the most urine tolerant, while bluegrass and bermudagrass seem to be the most sensitive.
There are also several species of taller grasses that are salt tolerant and fairly urine resistant including: Zoysia, Paspalum, and Distichlis. A tall meadow is a natural alternative to a traditional lawn. But you could also consider another lawn substitute like white clover or OâConnorâs strawberry clover, both of which are easy to maintain. Another plus: They require less water and, being nitrogen-fixing themselves, require less fertilization. Speaking of fertilization, if you fertilize your lawn, be sure to use a reduced nitrogen fertilizer.
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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:
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.
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.
How Many Minutes Should You Water Your Lawn
It is always better to water your lawn for longer periods of time, less frequently, than it is to water your lawn frequently for short periods of time.
That means you are better off watering your lawn for an hour two or three times a week, than it would be to water your lawn for 10 minutes, seven days a week.
A good guide is to aim for 10 to 15 millimetres of water, twice a week, during periods of no rain.
You should also consider the time that you water your lawn.
Early morning, as the sun is rising, is the best time to water your lawn in the warmer months. This will keep your grass wet for an optimum amount of time, ensuring it does not evaporate straight away in the heat of the day.
Watering your grass in the evening can encourage fungus to grow if the turf is cold and dewey overnight.
Following these steps will help you restore life to those ugly, brown patches and bring a sense of pride back to your beautiful turf.
Of course, for all your lawn care products, head to our online store to browse our high-quality range of products.
If you have any lawn care questions, give our expert team a .
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Will Watering Dead Grass Bring It Back
Watering alone will not bring dead grass back.
Ensuring you water your lawn evenly will become an important part of keeping your grass lush and green once you have restored the brown patches, but before we get your turf back to its best, there are four key steps you must take.
- Aeration with a garden fork or aeration sandals to de-compact the soil and allow nutrients from water and fertilizer penetrate the soil.
- Use a wetting agent to soak the lawn, which will help increase the water absorption of your turf
- Thoroughly irrigate/water the turf once you have applied the wetting agent
- Apply a high-quality grass fertilizer to your lawn. Ensure you follow the instructions on the label of your chosen product.
A Complete Guide On How To Repair Patchy Grass
Fixing a spotty lawn is typically a DIY job, though a lawn care service can level up the lushness factor of your lawn, too. Sometimes its just a matter of throwing down seeds, watering, and letting nature take its course. Other times, a little more elbow grease is needed.
No matter the case, our guide will help you decide how to repair patchy grass so the whole lawn doesnt turn to weed.
Photo via Moana
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How To Stop Dog Urine From Damaging Your Grass
The Spruce / Almar Creative
If youre a dog owner who takes pride in a beautiful lawn, it can be frustrating to look at your yard and see dead grass where your dog has peed. Dog urine can create unsightly brown or yellow spots of dead grass. Some dog owners believe that its just part of living with dogs, but this doesnt have to be the case. There are steps you can take to prevent your dogs urine from ruining your grass.
How To Fix Dead Grass Is It Dead Or Dormant
Whether youve had an intensely hot summer, left on vacation for a few weeks, or had a pet leave spots on your lawn, nobody likes to see yellowed or brown killed grass on their lawn. Your homes curb appeal can tell a story to guests and neighbors, so its important to keep your lawn in high standing as much as possible.
When exposed to extreme heat, extended cold, or minimal water over a period of time, grass begins to dry, recede, and eventually die if proper growing conditions arent restored.
This dormancy happens because the grass is trying to preserve itself with limited resources, so it focuses on maintaining the rooting rather than the surface grass. Fortunately, before total death, there is a period of dormancy where your lawn is just waiting to come back to life with proper treatment.
If your grass is actually dead, then here is the basic process to fix it:
- Begin a new lawn by raking the dead grass up so that youre left with just the soil.
- Spread seed so that they land firmly in the soil you tilled.
- Apply natural or chemical fertilizer to get it off on the right foot, and water & mulch it with healthy grass clippings or leaves for additional nutrients.
- Maintain it with proper sunlight & water so that it can grow. It may be a bit uneven to start, but give it a few weeks before you add another layer of seeds to spots that havent grown.
But, is your grass dead or is it dormant? Lets find out read on!
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