What Are Bare Spots?
Bare Patches are areas of your lawn that have exposed dirt and no grass.
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.
Will Grass Spread To Bare Spots?
It really depends on what grass type you have. You may be in luck if your lawn is comprised of either Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermuda Grass, Zoysia Grass, St. Augustine Grass or Creeping Red Fescue. These grasses have runners, or vine-like stolons above ground and stem-like rhizomes below ground, allowing them to expand sideways and gradually fill in any Bare Spots that may have taken residence in your lawn. Your chances of having an existing spreading grass are higher if you live in the south. Most grasses in the north are bunch-type grasses, which don’t spread well. If you need help identifying which types of grasses you have in your lawn, let us know.
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.
What To Do If Your Bare Spot Is Exposed Soil
- If you only see dirt and no additional layers of dead grass, your job is pretty easy. First, use a garden rake, shovel or other tool to loosen the soil around the Bare Patch several inches below the surface. We love the Garden Weasel, which can be purchased online or at a nearby home improvement or hardware store.
- Next, spread the seed at the recommended rate, lightly working it into the soil. If you need a great seed mix, try our Bare Spot Seed Patch Mix. It's a combination of Perennial Ryegrass, which will sprout quickly, Kentucky Bluegrass which helps the area fill in abundantly and Fine Fescue, which survives in shady spots.
- For added benefits, cover the spot with some Compost and work it all in together.
What To Do If Your Bare Spot Has Thatch Or Dead Grass Overtop
- If you have any Heavy Thatch, or dead grass on top of the soil, you will need to loosen up these additional layers to expose the real dirt.
- Once you do this, you want to seed into, or spread a light layer of real topsoil, not Peat Moss.
- Spread the seed on the fresh topsoil or freshly prepared ground and lightly work it into the top 1/4 inch of soil, making sure everything is integrated.
- Lastly, cover the area with a light layer of Compost or Pelletized Newspaper Mulch.
What If You Plan To Add A Lot Of Topsoil To Your Bare Patch
If you’re adding a fair amount of topsoil, you will be better off seeding in the late Summer or early Fall. The reason for this is that topsoil carries a lot of weed seeds that will sprout prolifically in the Spring and Summer. Keep the area wet for 3-4 weeks to get the grass to sprout and water it a couple times per week until it is fully established.