What Causes Bare Spots In Lawns
Bare spots in lawn areas can be caused by a number of things, and knowing how to fix patchy grass starts with identifying your lawn issues. Take the time to investigate, and try to get to the bottom of your bare spot mystery before taking the steps necessary to correct the problem. Otherwise, you may continue to repair bare spots without addressing the actual cause.
Bare spots are often the result of:
- Excessive foot traffic
- Chinch bugs and other insects
- Fungal disease
Dont worry if you cant narrow down the exact cause of the bare spots right away. Just paying attention to the location and size before you begin to repair spots can make a huge difference. If the spot returns, then continue to investigate the cause.
Patching An Existing Lawn With New Sod
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos have turned me into the impatient, Gotta Have it Now person that I am today. Bill developed software that drove the proliferation of PCs, Steve created a small personal device to access information anywhere, and Jeff figured out how to deliver just about anything you want within a day or two using the technologies that Bill and Steve developed! Thanks to these guys, anything less than RIGHT NOW! is unacceptable in my world.
Before You Get Started Gather These Items:
- Flathead shovel or edging shovel
- Garden rake or hoe
- Soil3 organic compost 1 small bag per 20 square feet of sod
- Rolls of new sod
- Garden hose
If you need help making sure that your new patches match the rest of your lawn, your local Super-Sod store will be glad to help. The best way to determine which type of grass you have is to dig up a small square and bring it to the store. Let our experts take a look and you can compare it to the sample grass plots.
Read Also: Lawn Mowing Simulator Gameplay
One: Plugs Or Squares
First decide if you will use plugs or squares. Typically, grass plugs come in trays of 36 plugssmall cubes of soil with grass. Plugs are planted 6-12 apart. Squares can be purchased singly or by the pallet. A pallet of sod squares covers 400-500 square feet .
Squares of sod cut to fit bare areas will produce instant full coverage. The same bare area installed with plugs will take weeks for full coverage as runners grow out from the plugs and interconnect.
People generally choose plugs as a cost-saving strategy.
How Do I Fix Brown Spots In My Lawn
Now that you know a little more about why brown spots are caused, youre probably wondering how to fix them. The answer is water. Especially with the hot summer weather. Oftentimes watering every day is not enough for new lawns! If the grass is dry, it needs water. Especially in the first 8 weeks after its installed. Watering your lawn for a longer period at night is a great idea. It gives the sod a thorough drink that wont evaporate right away with the heat of the day. Its still important to periodically water throughout the day.
Recommended Reading: Teenager Lawn Mowing Business
How To Repair A Lawn With Seed
If your lawn seems thin all over, try overseeding it. The basics are the same as patching.
Patching Your Lawn05:58
How To Repair A Thin Lawn By Overseeding
If the turf has been damaged by pet urine, it will resemble a patch of straw in the center with a dark green ring around the outside. The urine acts much like a fertilizer burn. Ohio State University scientists recommend watering the area to dilute the concentration of urine. If you are able to keep pets off the lawn, the grass can be reseeded.
Recommended Reading: Best Front Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers
Will Fertilizer Fix Brown Spots
Fertilizer wont help your grass until its green and healthy again. If the sod is dying, the fertilizer wont take. Wait to fertilize until it has greened back up. Once your sod is healthy, fertilizer helps it grow and establish the deeper root system it needs. So what it comes down to is more frequent irrigation cycles and hand watering the brown spots until that root system becomes established.
Although brown spots in new lawns can be frustrating, its sods way of asking for a drink. So keep your brand new lawn happy and healthy by making sure it gets plenty of water when brown spots appear!
How To Fill In Bare Or Patchy Spots
Patching your lawn may seem like a big undertaking, especially if you remember what it was like setting up your lawn in the first place. But you can get it done in a few simple steps. First, choose whether you want to use seed or sod.
In either case, make sure to select a grass type that will thrive in your region and the specific conditions of your yard. If you have large trees that cast a lot of shade, you want to purchase a shade-resistant grass that doesnt need too much sunlight.
Also Check: Rent To Own Zero Turn Mower
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.
How To Plant Grass Seed In Bare Spots
Seeding bare spots in lawn areas is a simple task that can be completed in just a few hours. It can take several weeks for new seed to turn into green grass, but the wait is definitely worth it.
Before you seed the area, get down and dirty by pulling weeds and removing any dead grass from the area. Grab a rake and roughen the soil in the bare spot and surrounding area. This will give the seeds a better chance to work into the soil and establish their roots quickly.
The best way to avoid overplanting which causes weak and spindly grass plants is to mix one part seed and three parts potting soil in a bucket. This gives you a seed application rate of approximately 10 to 15 seeds per square inch and results in the healthiest-looking grass patch repair.
Spread the seed and soil mixture evenly over the bare soil and slightly into the surrounding grass area. A slight overlap is just fine you dont want to see any evidence of the patch job once the grass grows back in.
Covering grass seed isnt necessary, but it can be helpful to give the seeds a boost of nutrients with a light covering of fine compost. Once covered, gently walk over the area and tamp the seeds down into the soil.
As the seedlings grow to the height of the surrounding grass, gradually taper off watering until the former bare spot is eventually on the same watering schedule as your surrounding lawn.
You May Like: How To Kill Wild Violet Weeds
Why Is New Sod More Prone To Brown Spots
New sod has a very shallow and underdeveloped root system thats only about ¾ of an inch deep. Wind or hot air can cause the plant to dry out. A lot of times the ground below new sod will be wet but the sod itself is drying out. The root system needs a chance to establish deeper into the ground before it can access that water. Without a more mature root system, new sod relies on you to keep it watered. It takes 6-8 weeks for the sod to establish a strong enough root system to take in water from the ground. In the meantime, its up to you to keep it well watered while it grows!
Go Back To Your Roots
With BarkYardGood Boy you can use a technique called overseeding to fill in spots of grass that have become thin or are showing wear. The best time to overseed will vary according to the climate in your region, but it can be done during late spring or early fall – when soil temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Usually, its best to keep your grass blades on the longer side , but to prep your grass for overseeding, youll need to mow your lawn shorter to approximately 2 inches. Shorter grass blades will allow grass seeds to make contact with the ground, giving them access to water and sunshine as they begin to grow. You may also want to do a light dethatching, going over damaged or trampled areas with a rake to get rid of dead undergrowth that will block seeds from taking root.
Pick a day where there is not a lot of wind to overseed. Apply seed using a spreader or integrated shaker bottle according to the label directions. Good Boy makes it easy to grow with grass seed, fertilizer, and soil-improver all in one – no need for extra fertilizer to jumpstart your seedlings.
Recommended Reading: Murray Push Mower Replacement Parts
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.
How To Patch A Lawn With Seed
Mow the existing grass in the area down as low as you can. Youll want your seeds to have direct contact with the bare, exposed soil. Dig a border using a sharp spade and get rid of any debris or weeds in the delineated area. Rake up the soil, then leave it level and smooth.
Distribute the seed with a spreader, using the appropriate amount for the designated space. Spread the seed so that it covers the surface, but dont let seeds overlap with one another. For uniformity, spread half the seed in an east/west pattern and half the seed north/south.
Rake over the seed for even distribution. Then, cover the top with a thin layer, about ½ an inch, of straw or topsoil to keep the seeds moist and protect them from birds.
For the first week or two, youll need to water your lawn daily or twice a day to make sure the soil is moist, but not soggy. Once the seedings begin to emerge, you can dial back the irrigation to two deep, infrequent waterings totaling 1-1.5 inches per week.
Do not mow until the grass reaches a height of about 3-3.5 inches. Then, be sure to cut no more than the top of the grass blade to encourage drought resistance and deep root growth, and discourage weeds.
It may take up to eight weeks, depending on the grass type you selected, for the new grass to blend in fully with the rest of your lawn. If you need to mow the rest of your lawn before then, be careful to avoid the newly seeded grass.
You May Like: Weekly Lawn Service Cost
Give It A Little Patience
Grass doesnt grow in a day — or even in a week. Your trampled lawn might need to take a month or so to show signs of life again. Make sure that youre watering the grass seed regularly, and dont mow new growth until your lawn is between 3 and 4 inches.
In the meantime, work on establishing traffic patterns that bring life back to your outdoor space. Cultivate behaviors in your dog that will allow your efforts to take root. Pay attention to the ways that your family are using your lawn, so that you can maximize the space that you have. As your formerly trampled lawn transforms into a lush green carpet, youll be so glad you made the effort to create a space that feels good to spend time in.
*Results 28 days after application, applied and cared for according to label directions
Two: Measure Bare Areas
Determine how much sod you need to purchase by measuring the bare areas that need filling. Figure out oval areas by measuring the space lengthwise and crosswise. Calculate that square footage and subtract about 1/5 of the total for the corners.
Repeat that process for all bare patches to determine how many total squares or plugs you will purchase.
Also Check: Renting Aerator Lowes
Best Methods For Repairing Bare Spots In Your Lawn
Fall, Winter and Spring are great times to patch in areas of sod or establish a whole new sod lawn in California. So if you are thinking of a new lawn or patching in some bare areas, NOW is the time to start working and planning!
It might seem weird to do yard work in the Winter, but cool temperatures allow time for grass roots to establish without much irrigation. During the heat of Summer, sod and seed are susceptible to drying out and disease.
If you have small areas of dead grass, the first step is to figure out why the grass died in that area. Here are a few possibilities.
Once youve pinpointed and fixed the reason for the bare spots, the next question is: should I sod or seed? Done properly, both work well and preparation for both is done similarly:
Fescue seed planting rates are roughly 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. St. Augustine and Hybrid Bermuda cannot be established with seed. There is Bermuda seed but those varieties tend to have many more seed heads and a less beautiful lawn. The challenge with seeding is you will get weeds competing with the newly seeded grass = doesnt look good and long-term frustration. Thats why we recommend sod!
Sod Is Sold In Strips 20 Wide X 40 Long
How to lay sod patch. Before you lay your sod patch, remove any dead grass or yard waste that is covering the dirt. If the sod seems higher than the surrounding lawn, remove a little soil out of the patch, smooth and try again. This is key to not having weeds growing up between your sod strips while the lawn is establishing.
Rake the soil as you lay the sod to clear any bumps under the surface. Use your shovel to cut down through the new sod and the existing grass below at the same time. If you lay sod on existing lawn it will die a rather quick death, killing the lawn underneath as well.
Cut the edges of the area straight. One person can place pieces of sod in a wheelbarrow and roll them to the work area. Remove a layer of soil below the grass:
Add 2 to 3 inches of sand to claylike soil to improve drainage. After youve laid the first row, smooth out any areas that have wrinkled or bunched up, but be careful not to step on it. Though it is generally thought to be ok to lay sod over an existing lawn, some landscapers and homeowners prefer to remove any existing lawn before installation of sod.
Lay the next row of sod. Be sure to stagger the joints between courses of sod. Have a sample of your soil tested.
Take samples of soil from all sections of your yard using a trowel. Sod produces a lush lawn quickly, without the time and risk of planting grass seed. This will help remove roots.
How To Lay Artificial Grass Like A Pro Laying artificial
Don’t Miss: Astroturf Lawn Cost