Having a lawn that’s filled with healthy green grass is one of the best ways to keep the exterior of your home looking beautiful and well maintained all throughout the year. No matter how much work you do to keep the entirety of your lawn free from unsightly spots, there are a wide array of different factors that can play a part in causing bare spots on your lawn. Repairing these bare spots is easier than you might imagine and only takes a few simple steps, although it’s also important that you focus on eliminating some of the causes of these spots for future prevention.
Eliminate the Causes of Bare Spots for Future Prevention
If you want to greatly reduce the amount of times you need to repair bare spots on your lawn in the future, it’s heavily recommended that you also eliminate some of the causes that can lead to these spots. Heavy foot traffic is one of the easiest causes to curtail, as all you need to do is find a way to avoid walking in this area as often. Consider installing a gravel pathway in the area if it’s impossible to keep foot traffic off of that spot. Other causes could include disease, drought, insect infestation, or an influx of weeds in a small area. If you can identify the cause before the next growing season, you can plant the solution necessary to prevent the problem from reoccurring.
Consider the Numerous Grass Planting Methods at Your Disposal
Once you have identified what is causing your grass to show bare spots, you can focus on selecting the grass planting method that you wish to use on the bare spots around your lawn. There are a variety of methods at your disposal, each of which have proven to be effective at getting your grass back to normal. For instance, you could use the grass seed and fertilizer method wherein the seed is applied to the area first before a layer of fertilizer is spread over it. This method commonly makes use of straw as mulch.
Another option is to use seed germination blankets that are constructed from wood fibers as a means of keeping the soil and seeds in place. This option helps to keep erosion from taking place before grass has fully grown in the bare spot. There are also bags you can purchase that are designed specifically to address bare spots by mixing together mulch, grass seed, and fertilizer into one bag. No matter which method you wish to use when patching up the bare spots on your lawn, the best time of year to repair these areas is in the late spring months if your lawn is covered by a warm grass or in the early fall if you are using a cool season grass.
Steps for Repairing the Bare Spots on Your Lawn
Now that you have identified the cause of the bare spots on your lawn and have selected the method that you with to use when repairing these spots, it’s time to actually do the work necessary to fix the appearance of your lawn.
1. The first step in repairing these bare spots is to dig up the ground to about 5-6 inches in depth so as to break up the clumps of dirt in the area.
2. Once you have broken up the clumps of dirt, place a thin layer of about 2 inches of topsoil over the entirety of the spot in order to bolster the quality of your soil and improve the chances that the grass seed you plant grows well.
3. Make sure that any debris within the spot is removed so that the ground is firm and level. To accomplish this, take a rake over the dirt and pack it in with the top edge of the rake so that the surface becomes even.
4. At this point, you will want to spread some of the grass seed or other solution that you’re using over the bare spot, making sure not to miss any portion of the spot while doing so. This seed should be spread evenly over the ground in a layer that is thick enough to cover the surface without seeds being placed over other seeds. Although it’s possible to fertilize the area now, it’s recommended that you wait to do this step until the grass has displayed some of its initial growth.
5. Once the seed or mixture has been placed on the ground, take your rake over the ground so that the seeds you have placed in the area get mixed in with the soil to a depth of around half an inch. Make sure that the seed or mixture that you’re using is confined to the bare spot in order for the grass to grow properly with the remainder of your lawn. In the meantime, it will take anywhere from 5-30 days for this grass seed to germinate, which is why you will want to be on the lookout for birds in order to make sure that they don’t eat the seed that you’ve laid down. It’s possible to place some reflective tape over the area in order to keep the birds out, although this should only be used if you notice that birds are becoming a nuisance.
6. After all the seed or mixture has been planted in the bare spots throughout your lawn, the next step involves watering the newly planted seed. Although it’s important that the area doesn’t become too damp, you should water the lawn at least once a day until the grass has reached around 2-3 inches in length. When watering these spots, the grass should become moist but never soggy. Once the grass has reached 4 inches in length, alter your watering schedule to a weekly or bi-weekly one.
7. The key to making sure that the new grass in this area blends in with the rest of your lawn, it’s essential that you allow the grass within the spot to become slightly taller than the rest of your grass before you start mowing it, which means that the new grass should be avoided when mowing for at least a couple of weeks. Once it has reached a good height, you can start mowing it along with the rest of your grass, after which it should be well blended.
Continue to Maintain the Lawn
While planting grass seeds or a mixture onto bare spots across your lawn takes a mere hour or so for each spot, you don’t want to spend too much of your time tending to bare areas on your lawn, which is why you should maintain these areas once you’ve repaired them. Doing so is easy and will ensure that these areas remain healthy for more than a month. For one, if you plan on applying weed-and-feed or herbicide to the repaired areas, make sure that you wait until you’ve mowed over this area around 4-5 times to ensure that the grass is no longer sensitive to these substances. You also shouldn’t cut the grass blades in these areas to lower than one-third of their current height. By practicing these small tips, you will be able to keep the grass in these spots lush and healthy for good.