If you have dead spots in your yard where grass has seemed to disappear, it only takes a few supplies to replace the area and have your yard looking brand new again. Here are six steps to fixing the dead spots in your lawn.
1. Determine the Cause
Before you run to the store to buy supplies, you need to first assess the spot and determine what caused the dead spot in the first place. If the bald patch is caused by insects or fungi, you’ll first need to remove these problems before you attempt to reseed, otherwise you will have to keep repeating the process until you remove the problem.
2. Buy the Right Grass
Once you’ve determined that you are good to plant new seed, you’ll need to head to the store to gather supplies. When you’re picking out grass seed, you need to be cautious of which kind you are buying. If you know the kind of grass that’s in your lawn, go ahead and match it. If you’re looking for a good grass mix for your Kansas City lawn, we recommend a mix of half blue grass for the rich color and soft texture and half fescue for durability and heat tolerance.
3. Look at Seed Labels Carefully
Most homeowners don’t know it, but most grass seed contains weeds. The next time you’re at the store, read the labels. It will tell you the percentage of “weed seed” and “other crop” contained in the bag. Even a small percentage of seeds in these categories can mean hundreds of weeds in your yard. Look for premium seed that states 0% weed seed and 0% other crop or you’ll be fighting weeds that you planted.
4. Prepare the Soil
Prepare the area by pulling any weeds that may have taken root in the spot. Make sure you get them all, because weeds will compete with your grass for growing space. Sow the soil and remove anything that may cause problems for the grass to grow, such as rocks or twigs, then add some manure, compost, or lawn soil to make sure your grass has a healthy start.
5. Plant the Seed
When you plant your grass seed, you should do so by scattering the seed around the area and making sure you cover the entire area with plenty of seed. Once you’re sure you have plenty of seed down, lightly go over the area with a hoe or rake to cover it with a thin layer of soil. This will keep the seed from blowing away, as well as give it a permanent place to grow. A common problem when spot seeding is to get the seed too thick. This looks good when it first germinates but the overcrowding leads to poor root development and then these spots die out again when it gets hot. It is better to be a little light than a little heavy.
6. Water, Water, Water
Your work is not done when you’re finished planting the seed. Over the next few weeks, you should aim at watering the grass patch every day until the seed is well established in its new spot. Use your water hose or a watering can to lightly water the area so the seed bed stays damp, but not waterlogged. Seed germination should start within 14 to 21 days and may take another 2 weeks to fully germinate if the weather is cold. Keep it damp until it is tall enough to mow (4 inches) then you can back the water down to your normal pattern. Do not let the new grass go dormant the first year. It doesn’t have enough root structure to come back.
For more information about dead spots and other lawn issues, call Heritage Lawns & Irrigation at (913) 451-4664.