The Q&A Archives: Bare spots in lawn

Question: Parts of my lawn have been beaten down to dirt. What is the best way to patch this? Thanks

Answer: If foot traffic or pets are beating down the areas you might want to consider making pathways from bark or gravel rather than trying to get the grass to grow. Or, you can repair and reseed. Constant traffic can not only kill the grass but compact the soil enough that nothing will grow. So, dig the soil to loosen it up. Dig 4-6" into the area and add a few inches of compost or other organic matter, then incorporate it well. Rake the area smooth and with the back of your rake, tamp it down a bit. You don't want to compact it again but you do want to make the soil level with the rest of your lawn. Once you've done that, overseed the bare area and cover the seeds with a light coating to peatmoss, both to keep it moist and to hide the seeds from hungry birds. Water as often as necessary to keep the seeds moist and they should germinate in 7-10 days. Keep off the area while it's re-establishing itself. A temporary fence (a few steel or cedar stakes and some chicken wire) will provide the needed protection while the grass is young. Best wishes with your lawn!

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