After talking to tens of lawn owners, there’s something everybody seems to want; a full and thick lawn. Even though this is the ideal condition for many gardeners, it has remained just a dream for many lawn owners. This article is all about how to fix patchy grass? and make your lawn beautiful as never before.
The dream is a full lawn, but a more common scenario is a patchy and thin lawn. Seeing bare areas of your lawn is not only unappealing but also annoying. It is no wonder many lawn owners are eager to try out any ‘solution,’ most without success.
Not to worry, though, in this guide, you’ll see why your lawn is having bare spots and how you can fix it to get that awesome lawn you probably only see in pictures.
Causes of Patchy Grass Lawns
To tackle this problem, you first have to know the cause. This is the major reason most of the ‘solutions’ you’ve tried haven’t worked. Applying a scattergun approach to fixing your patchy lawn will lead to a waste of resources and still not give you the full lawn you desire.
1. Pest and Diseases
The presence of pests and diseases in your lawn may be the reason parts of your grass is patchy and bare. Pests and diseases will weaken your grass and eventually kill it, leaving behind empty spaces.
- Solution: treat your grass with the necessary insecticides. You can go organic by making natural remedies like vinegar and baking soda.
2. Poor Soil Nutrients
Suppose areas of your soil lack the necessary nutrients needed for the particular grass you have to grow. In that case, you’ll find patchy areas on your lawn. The areas with poor nutrients will show by producing poor growth.
- Solution: amend the soil by applying the necessary lawn fertilizer. You can also make use of compost made from grass clippings to replenish the nutrients in your soil.
3. Bad Seed
Grass seeds go bad if not stored properly; their efficiency also reduces every year they are kept. So even if you store the seed the best way, their germination rate will keep reducing till you use them. This means seeds that have been stored for a few years will most likely leave patchy areas when germinating.
- Solution: store the grass seed in a cool, dry, and dark place. Use the grass seed as soon as possible.
Weed is a major cause of patchy lawns. The presence of weeds in your garden will reduce your grass’s growth, causing it not to grow well in areas with weeds. This will leave patches there, especially with annual weeds when they finally die out.
- Solution: apply pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides when necessary to stop the growth of weeds.
5. Compacted Soil
Some areas of your land receive more foot traffic than other areas. These areas are more prone to compacted soil, and compacted soil can lead to low growth of grass in these areas. So it is common to see patchy spots in areas with a lot of foot traffic.
- Solution: aerate the soil at least once a year to loosen the soil and allow nutrients, air, and water to pass easily. You can create walking areas in parts with a lot of foot traffic to reduce the grass’s stress.
6. Poor Mowing Methods
When grass is not mowed correctly, there is a risk of parts of the lawn dying and leaving behind patches of bare spots. Some grass cannot withstand low mowing, so when they are mowed relatively low, some of the grass dies, leaving you with a bad looking lawn.
- Solution: know the required mowing height and style for the grass you have.
7. Too Much Shade
Not many types of grass can grow under heavy shade. Grass loves to get sunlight, so when your garden has too much shade, you’ll find bare annoying patches around.
- Solution: reduce the shade in your garden by trimming down big trees. Growing more shade-loving grass varieties will help tremendously.
How to Fix Patchy Grass?
Knowing the cause of the patchy lawn is the first step to solving the problem and getting your dream lawn.
You can know the particular cause(s) of your patchy lawn through observation and test. Running a soil test can tell you if your soil lacks nutrients and is too compact. You can know if pests and diseases, weeds, and too much shade is the cause of your patchy lawn through careful observation.
Once you’ve figured out the cause, simply apply the solution.
Stopping the rot may not bring back a full lawn or maybe not as fast as you’ll want, so here are ways to fix those bare patches.
1. Fixing a Few Bare Patches by Reseeding
To fix a few bare patches in your lawn, here’s what to do.
- Cut out the area with a shovel by lifting off the tiny grass patches around to have a clean bare area.
- Fill the area with topsoil to the level of the lawn
- Rake the topsoil to break down any soil lumps
- Spread the particular seed you have on your lawn over that area and work them into the soil using a rake
- Cover with straw to keep birds away and conserve moisture
- Water the new seeds properly
2. Fixing a lot of Bare Patches by Overseeding
If your lawn has more than a few bare patches, manually reseeding the area will not be feasible as it will require a lot of work and may not produce the best result. To handle this issue, overseed the entire area.
Because you still have grass patches growing, you want to overseed without aerating to disturb the grass growing already and make your job even harder.
How to fix patchy grass? Here’s how to overseed.
- Clear the area of dried leaves and debris
- Use an overseeder to spread the seed across the land
- Cover with a thin layer of compost or topsoil
- Rake the seed and soil into the grass for better results
- Water diligently till the seeds germinate
3. Patching Bare Areas with Sod
Using sod is a fast and easy way to get your grass full. Because sod is already germinated grass, the possibility of getting pare batches due to poor germination is eliminated.
- Cut out the bare patch in a rectangular shape. You want to remove the dead grass and thin grass around the area
- Replace topsoil if a lot of soil is lost when removing the thin grass
- Work the soil with a rake to loosen it and make growth easier
- Cut out the sod slightly bigger than the bare spot
- Place the sod into the bare area and tap down on it or gently walk on it
- Water generously till the sod is rooted
- Using sod is a fast way of fixing bare spots on your lawn.
As you have already seen, fixing bare patches in your lawn is not rocket science. The first step is knowing the cause of the bare patch, then dealing with how to fix patchy grass, and finally encouraging the growth of new grass through any of the 3 methods listed in this guide.
With the information here, there’ll be no more annoying bare patches in your lawn.