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What can I do with Bare Spots on my Lawn?

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  • Written By: Dan Blacharski
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2014
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A perfect lawn is a prized possession of homeowners everywhere. But no matter how much time one may spend caring for it, there will inevitably be a bare spot on the lawn. Although the frustrated homeowner may be tempted to pave it over and paint it green, there's no reason why anyone can't have a lush, green lawn, free of brown areas or bare spots, that can be the pride of the neighborhood.

If you do have a bare spot on your lawn, one way to quickly remedy the problem is to re-sod the area. That is, cut a piece of sod, a section of grass held together by matted roots, to fit the area and lay it in. Tapping it down with your foot and watering it will help it grow into the soil. If your bare spot is small, you don't even have to buy a piece of sod, a quick fix is to just dig up a piece of lawn from the edge, and use that to fill it in.

If the spot isn't bare, but is either brown or sparse, one option is to use fertilizer to green it up a little. This will take a couple weeks though, so if you have and immediate need, the sod option is best. Remove any remaining grass from the area, dig it up a little to loosen the soil, and lay down a little compost before putting down the sod plug.

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Another option, if time is not a major factor, is re-seeding the brown or bare spot. You can lay down seed any time, but it will not grow until the ground temperature is suitable, about 52 degreesn Fahrenheit. Exceptionally hot weather is also not a good time to plant grass seed. Don't forget to cover the seed with a light layer of topsoil, or the birds will eat it.

One of the biggest causes of a brown or bare spot on the lawn is burning caused by animals. Grass damaged by pet urine will be brown, with a ring around the perimeter. You can prevent these a brown or bare spot from occurring, by diluting the concentration of urine with water within eight hours of the animal's visit. Dogs may also enjoy digging in a certain area of your lawn, which can create bare spots. You can bury bricks or stones in the area and then re-seed or re-sod it, and the dogs will stop digging in that area once they feel the scrape of the bricks underground.

Alternatively, if the spot is exceptionally troublesome, try some creative landscaping by placing patio stones or a birdbath on the bare spot.

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Discuss this Article

Deeboy
Post 6

Can I just turn over the old dead sod and reseed over it? Or should I throw away the dirt and use new soil? I used the incorrect weed killer which killed both the grass and the lawn! However the bottle said I could reseed in three days. Please, can anybody give me a quick answer?

anon80667
Post 5

I could "rent" you my Dachshund -- wherever she pees, the spot gets wonderfully dark green! No bare spots, no rings, etc. Now I just need to get her to move around the lawn a bit, so she can "treat" the whole thing!

anon35505
Post 4

You can try the K9 Yard Patch. It heals the yellow grass first and then grows seed as a backup to fixing the spot in the first place.

Eazyduzzit
Post 3

I have the same problem as Chermick. I have a Chocolate Lab and another large dog. The only way I can grow grass is to keep them in a pen which I hate doing.

CherMick
Post 2

Help! I have no lawn left in my backyard due to my dog constantly running around (like a freight train)! It's more dirt (or mud depending on the weather). I've tried reseeding, Patch Perfect....he tromps it all down to the bare dirt...Is there anything I can try? Would sod be the answer or will he kill that too? Thanks!

BobDad49
Post 1

I have many bare spots in my lawn in the area under 2 large Beech trees. I reseeded last year, but the bare spots came back in the fall. Should I be using a special seed? Are there other things I should do because the is mostly shaded by the trees?

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