The Best Time To Repair Bare Spots In A Garden Lawn
We can all be a little impatient when it comes to sorting the lawn and want to sow in the ground as soon as possible.
But there is an optimal time when conditions are right for grass seeds to germinate and grow, which is until the soil temperature warms up in a few months.
If your lawn is looking a little more worn, then take stock of the tips below and be ready to act when the time comes, so you can have the perfect green oasis when summer returns.
What Causes Bare Spots In The Lawn
Bare spots in your lawn can have several causes. They are:
- High foot-traffic areas
- Disease or pests, such as grubs
- Chemical burns from too much fertilizer or weed killer
- Drought or watering issues
Before you repair bare spots in your lawn, you need to figure out whats causing them and address the source. Thats a big step towards controlling them. In high traffic areas, figure out how to redirect the traffic or diffuse it. Treat grubs or insect infestations, and find and solve issues with under-watering.
How To Repair Bare Spots In Your Lawn
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
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Consider The Cause And Correct It Before Repairing
Treating only the symptoms of a health issue is never the smart approach to managing our health and well-being. Not only can the causal issue continue, but it can also spread and get much worse.
Bare spots in lawns are another instance where ignoring or treating only symptoms is massively ineffective.
To truly repair bare spots in your lawn, you must start by discovering the cause of the bare spots. If you dont, the brown spots will likely returnand soon. Check out our blog or our complete brown patch guide as an aid to see if you recognize what the problem may be.
However, contacting a local lawn care company will be your most effective option.
Many, many issues can cause your lawn to be brown and become barren in some areas. Below is a list of the most common causes of bare spots and their simplified solutions.
What Causes Bare Spots In My Lawn
If you notice Bare Spots in your otherwise lush, green and healthy lawn, they could be the result of excessive foot traffic, poor soil conditions, pet urine, grub infestation, chemical spills, fungal disease, buried rocks, or a variety of other things. Several approaches exist to effectively patch these Bare Spots, however, it’s important to understand and address the underlying cause, so that this same problem doesn’t continue to manifest in your lawn. If you’re uncertain about the catalyst for your Bare Patches, give us a call or submit a question and we can offer some insight.
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Water Generously At First Less Later
Water the area immediately, and then continue to water lightly three times a day for 7-10 days. When you can see the new grass sprouting, reduce watering to once daily.
Tip: After the new grass emerges, less is more. A good, thorough soaking rather than a quick watering ensures that the water gets down to the root system. This helps roots grow strong and deep for a thick, more drought-resistant lawn.
Why Has My Lawn Died Over Winter
Low temperatures are one of the biggest causes of winterkill grass. Cool-season grasses are generally well adapted to cooler temperatures but some fare better than others. Roughstock, creeping bentgrass, and bluegrass fare the best while perennial and annual ryegrass are the most susceptible to winterkill.
Turf grass undergoes a process called cold acclimation wherein some sugars and proteins accumulate, cell walls become fluid, and cells dehydrate. This is all to help the grass tolerate low temps.
The crown or growing point of the grass is normally insulated by the soil, but warm days in the late winter result in the plants taking up water only to be followed by days of rapid freezing. This results in crown hydration which ruptures the plant cells resulting in dead grass spots or areas.
Snow mold may be another reason for winter lawn damage. Typhula blight and Microdochium patch are the most common fungi. Gray snow mold needs extended snow cover while pink can occur with or without snow cover.
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What To Do If Your Bare Spot Is Exposed Soil
Plant At The Right Time Of Year
The goal is to get the roots established before environmental conditions become too harsh for the baby grass to survive. The best time to repair bare patches is when the grass is actively growing, says Waltz. That depends on where you live. Warm season grasses grow during the warm times of year, which is about May to mid-September. Cool season grasses grow during the cooler times of year until the soil freezes, which is roughly December to February. If youre not sure what you have, talk to your local university coop extension service. Both seed and sod are good options for patching.
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Five Maintaining The New Grass
After a few weeks, the new grass should be established, growing well, and blending in. At this point, you can resume regular watering and mowing activities. This is also a great time to fertilize these new areas to help boost their root development.
During this early period of new grass growth, be aware of how products like pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers affect new grass.
Check the labels for any special instructions on when and how it can be applied to newer grass.
Monitor your lawn to check that bare spots dont rear their ugly heads again. If you do suffer from bare spots again, some issue is definitely unresolved in your yard. Consult with a lawn care professional on how best to handle your particular situation.
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.
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A Few Common Causes For Those Bare Spots And Patches In Your Lawn:
Depending on the type of damage, there are different solutions to your lawns bare spots. However, most involve adding new grass seed, lawn food and water . Considering the unusually rainy spring and summer weve had so far in upstate New York, its doubtful that your lawn has bare spots due to dryness. But if there is a dry spot, its an easy fix just be sure to water frequently, in addition to reseeding to improve thickness.
If the bare spots are due to overfertilizing or lawnmower damage, you will see them appearing uniformly across the lawn. For damage caused by overfertilizing, reseed the bare spots and do not add additional fertilizer until the lawn heals itself. For lawnmower damage, be sure your lawnmower blades are sharpened regularly, and keep the blades raised high enough from the ground when you mow.
Grubs or other insects can wreak havoc on your lawn, as well. Grubs, curling white worms, are a common problem in mid to late summer, and most easily identified when your sod easily pulls back from the ground like a carpet. More than ten grubs per square foot can cause lawn damage. Grub control products are available at your local GNH.
How To Patch Bare Spots With Sod
For a quicker fix than reseeding, try using sod. Sod is a fairly inexpensive way to repair bare spots of dead grass.
- Remove Debris
Similar to reseeding, remove any leaves, dead grass, weeds, or debris from the brown patch area before getting started.
- Till the Soil
Using a garden hoe or rake, till the soil a few inches deep to break up the solid pieces of dirt.
- Measure the Area of the Brown Patch
Use a tape measure to evaluate the width and length of your brown patch. Then, purchase a piece of sod from your local gardening store that will fully cover the area.
- Select the Right Turfgrass
Be sure to select the correct turfgrass sod for your lawn, identify the grass you have growing, and try to match this when buying pieces of sod.
- Cut the Sod
Using a sharp shovel or garden tool, cut a piece of sod that is slightly larger than the area you are covering.
- Lightly Fertilize
Applying a small amount of fertilizer to the soil before laying sod will encourage the roots to establish and anchor down the sod piece.
- Firmly Place the Sod Piece
Place the sod on top of the brown patch matching the shape as best you can. Compress the sod down into the lawn by tamping it down with a rake and then immediately walking on it.
- Water the Sod Immediately
The sod will need more water than regular seed grass. Keep the area moist by watering two to three times a day if needed. Monitor the edges of the new sod they will dry out first.
- Hold Off on Weed Control
- Assume Regular Lawn Treatment
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How To Reseed Bare Patches
Rake the Area
Rake and remove any debris or dead grass from the area, using a garden rake. Now is also the time to examine the area for grub damage. If the damaged patch of lawn pulls up easily, like a rug being lifted, you may have a grub problem that needs correcting.
Loosen the Soil
Break up the soil with a hard-toothed lawn rake or a garden cultivator. If the soil seems heavily compacted, you might consider aerating it with a core aeration tool. This simple manual tool cuts aeration holes in the soil when you drive it into the ground with your foot.
Amend the Soil
Sprinkle several inches of compost or loamy soil and mix it into the existing soil with the rake. Turn the rake upside down and use the top edge to even out the surface, spreading some of the topdressing into the adjacent areas.
Spread the Seeds
Sprinkle grass seed evenly across the patch area, thick enough to cover the surface but not so thick that the seeds pile up on top of one another. Use an appropriate seed for your region and micro-climate . Perennial ryegrass should be a part of the blend because it will quickly germinate.
Do not fertilize yet. While this step was once recommended, most experts suggest that fertilizers are not useful until after the grasses are well established.
Rake the Seeds
Mow When Ready
How To Fix Bare Spots In My Lawn
Once you have identified and resolved the cause of the Bare Spots, it’s time to repair the damage. Typically, you would only seed in the late Summer, during the months of August or September, as seeds germinate in the Fall so as to sprout in the Spring. In the case of Bare Patches however, we recommend that you seed the area right away, rather than leave it exposed. Read more about how to fix these areas, depending on their condition.
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Three Measure And Install The Sod
Now that you have both sod and soil ready to go, its time to cut the sod to fit. Lay the sod on the bare spot making sure the sod makes good contact with the soil bed. Now using a garden knife or a sharp shovel, remove the excess surface area of sod.
Each bare spot should be covered with a patch of sod that is slightly larger than the bare area. A couple of inches of the sod patch should extend over onto your healthy, established grass.
In lawns with loads of small bare spots, one roll of sod can be cut multiple times and used in several areas.
However, if the spot is larger than a patch of sod, simply add another roll until the area is completely covered with that extra couple inches all around.
Clear away the mess of trimmed and extra sod, and walk on the new grass a bit to ensure good, solid contact with soil. Be aware that you should avoid mowing until the grass has become established and grown to mowing height.
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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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.
Get The Most Out Of Lawn Patch And Repair Mixes This Spring
We often see dead patches or bare spots as the snow disappears and lawns green up. This can be caused by a number of winter stresses. If patches are greater than a few inches wide, recovery will require the addition of seed or sod. Consider the following when choosing retail-available products or DIY approaches to patching these areas.
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Lawn Care And Repair With Gecko Green
As a locally-owned and operated lawn care and pest control business based in Dallas Fort Worth, we prioritize giving you the individualized and personalized attention you deserve.
When pesky issues like bare spots plague your lawn, our experts can help you discover the cause and design an effective plan to fix the problem for good.
With over 30 years of experience in the industry, the professionals at Gecko Green make lawn care easy from a team you can trust. Experience the Gecko Green difference for yourself!