How to Quickly Fix Dead Spots in Your Lawn: Three Easy Steps

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

A lot of people wonder how to fix dead spots in their lawn. It’s easy to get those dead spots back to lush and green. It’s also quick to do plus your lawn will look great again in just a few short weeks. Here’s a quick look at what you need to know:

Step One: Prepare the Area
Prepare the soil in the area that you want to repair by removing any weeds and the damaged grass. For best results, enlarge the area about 6 inches beyond the problem itself.  Next, prepare the soil as thoroughly as you would if you were replanting a new lawn. Turn it over to a depth of about 6 inches, removing any obvious roots or rocks.  Add some compost or well rotted manure and mix it into the soil well.  Lawn Soils specifically formulated for starting lawn can also be used but they tend to be a bit more expensive.  Smooth the soil with a rake and then firm it with your hands.

Step Two: Using Grass Seed
Sow the grass seed at the rate recommended on the package, scattering by hand. Rake to cover with a thin layer of soil.  If the weather is especially hot or dry like it is in most of the county right now, cover the seed with a light layer of weed-free mulch. Dried grass clippings make excellent mulch for this although be careful, too many grass clippings can create a dense mat that makes it difficult to water or let the sun in.  NOTE: Be sure to buy the correct seed type to match your lawn.  If you mix different types of grasses, it can become quite a nightmare down the road for you. If you aren’t sure how to buy grass seed, check out this great grass seed buying guide to get you started.


Step Two: Using Sod
For faster results, you can patch with sod. Cut the sod to fit the size and shape of the patch. Then position a small piece on the patch.  If the sod seems higher than the surrounding lawn, excavate a little soil out of the patch, smooth, and try again.  NOTE: Sod that’s too high will get scalped by the mower and be sure that the pieces of sod butt up tightly against one another.  If there is a gap, it will take longer to fill in.  Walk gently (don’t stomp) on top of the area to make sure the sod roots have good contact with the soil.  You can find various types of sod at your favorite Home Depot Garden Center.

Step Three: Water, Water, Water
It’s critical to keep the patched lawn area moist for at least the first few weeks.  You can gently water new seeds with the mist attachment of a sprayer or a gentle sprinkler.  Sod can take a more powerful spray, but both need a soaking to a depth of about 6 inches the first couple of days followed by daily or even twice daily watering until well established.

I’ve found that this is easily a forgotten step after a few days, but following through with the watering will increase your success!  So be sure to keep the patched area moist for at least the first couple of weeks.

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