There are plenty of reasons why grass won’t grow in some places. Even a well-kept lawn can have a couple of bare patches. When this happens most people just add some grass seeds and hope for the best. However, this doesn’t always work. Here’s how to get grass to grow bare spots.
Generally speaking, eroding topsoil, wet soil, excessive fertilization, and inadequate sunlight are the main causes of dry spots on a lawn. If you have an area where nothing grows (not even weeds), you’re probably dealing with deteriorated topsoil.
Aerating and composting the topsoil will encourage grass to grow in bare patches. Most of the time, bare spots signal soil erosion. This means that you can grow grass there by restoring the topsoil with organic materials like grass clippings and adding some compost.
Why Does Your Grass Have Bare Spots?
Grass can get bare spots for many reasons. Some of them include heavy foot traffic, dryness, disease, chemical burn, and weed or insect infestation. You should identify the cause of the issue before you start any repairs. This will enable you to stop it from happening further.
If there is a lot of foot traffic, try to find a strategy to divert traffic away from the location. This can entail setting up stepping stones, a gravel walkway, or a barrier to divert traffic and safeguard that part of your lawn.
If your lawn has a disease, research the particular cause of sickness or insects to blame. Before starting growing new grass, most treatments must be administered and given time to work. Make sure to wait the recommend time before planing new seeds.
Here’s How to Grow Grass in Bare Spots
Aerate the Bare Spots
Aerating the soil is the first step in repairing bare spots in your lawn. This is because it’s likely that those areas have compacted soil, which indicates that there aren’t enough healthy bacteria and microorganisms present. Raking the soil will not be sufficient to aerate it; you must either till it or use a soil aerator.
Sometimes, I use a pitchfork to aerate small parts of my lawn. Sure, it’s time-consuming but not that difficult and pretty cheap! This is the pitchfork I own and recommend to others. It’s a high-quality budget option!
Add a Layer of Compost
After aerating the soil, it is crucial to spread a layer of compost over the bare patches. The helpful bacteria in compost will migrate once the soil has been aerated, helping the grass grow. A top-notch compost feeds not only the plants growing there but also the bacteria and other microbes. Compost can be applied directly to the bare region or blended into the surrounding soil.
Mulch the Area
Even when the soil has eroded, a thick layer of mulch will feed the soil. Mulching the bare patches in your lawn will help to rebuild the topsoil. The mulch will prevent the topsoil from drying out and encourage the migration of good bacteria, insects, and worms. Grass clippings, hay, and straw are excellent examples of mulches that decompose fairly quickly and are great for filling in bare places on the lawn. Make careful to cover the compost with a thick layer, though.
Before planting the grass seeds, remember to wait a few months for the mulch to decay. The mulch is not the best environment for the grass seeds to sprout, so under no circumstances mulch the bare patches one day and sow the seeds the next day.
Plant Grass Seeds
Many different kinds of grasses can be utilized for lawns, but not all of them will thrive in your region’s climate. Make sure you pick a grass variety that thrives in your region, and more significantly, ensure that the grass requires little upkeep. If your lawn requires a lot of upkeep, you will need to use a lot of fertilizers, which can deplete your topsoil and leave your grass with barren patches.
I highly recommend using these grass seeds. They’re seriously invincible.
Water The Seeds
Ensure thoroughly water the bare areas where you’ve planted grass seeds. If the soil is dry, irrigate the area once or twice a day to keep the soil moist for the first several weeks. Dry soil will prevent grass seeds from germinating. You can still add additional grass seeds to the barren patches at this stage after a few days when you can notice the germination rate. Give the seedlings some shade if the location receives a lot of direct sunshine, and you notice that they’re struggling.
Protect The Grass From Pests
For the first few weeks, you must safeguard your grass seedlings if you reside in an area where slugs and snails are a common problem. Placing plastic bottles on top of any relatively tiny patches of bare ground on your lawn is the best approach to protect them. For more details, see my previous post Protecting Young Plants With Plastic Bottles ( Slug & Snail Proof ). On the other hand, you must use slug pellets if your grass has numerous barren places or one particularly huge bald region.
Slug pellets are effective at killing slugs and snails but have the drawback of working slowly. After ingesting the slug pellets, a slug or snail has up to an hour before the poison begins to affect it. Slugs and snails will just consume the grass seeds during this period. In this situation, I would personally advise beginning to apply slug pellets to the barren section of the lawn about 2-3 weeks before you plant the grass seeds. Doing so will make it much easier to limit the number of snails.
Sow The Grass in Fall
Although I am aware that you want to fill in your bare places on the lawn as soon as possible, it is crucial to sow the grass seeds in the fall if you have a lot of dry patches. Check the date of the first frost in your area, then plant the grass seeds around 50–60 days beforehand. However, if you have a little bare patch on your lawn, you may still plant the seeds in the summer as long as you remember to keep the soil moist for the first few weeks.
As you can see, it’s not that hard to get grass to grow in bare spots. The topsoil needs to be rebuilt most of all because there is where the grass seedlings will truly grow. If you only rake in the grass seeds in an eroded area of your soil, the seedlings won’t be able to survive, and you won’t get any results.