How to Replace Dead Grass: Lawn Restoration
Patchy, dead areas in a lawn may be caused by digging rodents, grubs, dog urine, heat, drought or fungal disease. If your lawn is showing bald spots, the first step is to determine the cause of the problem, and then take steps to prevent it from happening again.
Once that’s accomplished, you can restore your lush, beautiful lawn by replacing the dead spots with fresh grass seed. Here’s how:
- Lawn restoration is best when temperatures are between 15 and 24 C. Grass seeds germinate quickly in warm weather.
- Use a lawn or hand rake to pull out dead grass, thatch, and other debris, then use the same tool to loosen the surface of the soil.
- Rake in a handful of compost or well-rotted manure, but no fertilizer at this time. If the patch is shallow, add a little topsoil to bring the level even with the surrounding lawn. Be sure the soil is smooth with no clumps.
- Scatter grass seed over the area. Be sure to choose a good quality seed suitable for Canadian winters.
- Cover the newly reseeded area with a thin layer of mulch such as straw or chopped leaves. Step on the area so the seed makes good contact with the soil.
- Water gently, using a spray nozzle to prevent loosening the seeds. Moisten the soil to a depth of about 5 cm.
- Continue to water daily, keeping the soil consistently moist until the new grass is at least 5 cm tall. At that point, cut back to one or two deep waterings per week.
- Feed the new grass with a slow-release lawn fertilizer after about six to eight weeks. Look for a lawn food with an NPK ratio of 33-0-3, which means it has nitrogen that products faster, thicker, darker lawn; as well as potassium to help grass resist disease and retain moisture.
- Don’t mow the newly planted spots until the new grass is at least 9 to 10 cm tall. You may need to mow around the spots for the first few weeks.