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Keys To Effective Lawn Reseeding

Updated on June 17, 2011

There comes the time in the life of every lawn that patches of bare ground may develop. Whether due to disease of the grass or heavy traffic on the lawn, effective lawn reseeding is the most cost effective way to restore the lawn to its former beauty.

How Lawns Become Patchy
Lawns that are well loved and well used can become patchy in just one season. If there is a swing set or other activity that invites a lot of traffic, bare patches will develop. While these are simply unsightly during the drier summer months, when the autumn rains begin those patches are going to become mud puddles and be tracked into the home.

Preparation for reseeding a patchy lawn

The best time for planting grass seed is during the growing season. If the homeowner waits until after the first frost, those seeds that are tossed out are likely to rot before the ground becomes warm enough for them to sprout.

The patch that is no longer growing is going to need to be cut out of the lawn. Once this area is removed, consider working some compost into the area to give the new lawn the needed nutrients to become established quickly. The compost will need to be dug into the ground, loosening the soil and mixing the organic material to present a good bed in which the seeds can grow.

Planting the seed

The seed should be spread evenly over the freshly prepared ground. Using the back or a rake or hoe, the seed should be pressed gently into the dirt. Sprinkle the area and keep it moist but not flooded until the seed begin to sprout and the grass takes root.

It is important that the new grass plants be protected from foot traffic of humans and pets while they become established. Consider placing a small barrier around the area for several weeks to provide this protection.

Preventing more patches from developing

In areas that see high volumes of traffic from pets and humans, consider planting a grass mixture that is developed for such areas. Other alternatives include providing walks or stepping stones. If the area is a place where the children often play, consider covering the area with splinter free bark instead of grass. The bark provides for safe and soft landings while preventing the formation of mud.

Keeping the grass healthy after lawn reseeding

Once the patches have been repaired, it is important to take steps that will keep the new grass and the remainder of the lawn healthy for the remainder of the growing season and as the grass goes into dormancy for the winter. Good lawn care techniques are essential to growth. This involves proper feeding of the lawn at least once per month, mowing on a regular basis and providing deep watering that allows the roots of the grass to grow deep. A few weeks before the first frost, it is important stop feeding the lawn and begin preparing it for the dormant period.


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