How to repair bare patches on your garden lawn

Gardeners' World: Adam shows how to fix damaged lawn

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Garden lawns can develop areas of poor growth over time. Generally, these problems may stem from physical damage or wear and tear. Damaged lawns may require more intensive plans of attack to manage the problem – notably reseeding or relaying the lawn.

How to repair bare patches in your lawn

Patches in lawns can happen for many reasons and when they do, it is advisable to treat them as soon as possible to avoid long-term issues.

There are several techniques you can use to manage bare patches.

The best time of the year to repair lawns is during the spring or autumn period when the weather is damp and cool.

These conditions enable laws to recover well.


You can use turf to cover the bare patch on your lawn.

To use this technique, cut out the damaged area of turf in a square and use a half-moon edging iron to cut the square and a spade to lift it.

Next, you should lightly fork over the soil in the base of the removed square.

Cut an identical sized patch of healthy turf from another area of your garden where it will not be missed – or you can use new turf if you have it.

Place the healthy turf on top of the bare patch of lawn.

Brush a sandy lawn top dressing into the crevices between the turves and then compress the edges with the back of a rake.

Water the turf patch throughout with a watering can with a fine nose.

Within a couple of weeks, your sod patches should be seamless and indistinguishable from the rest of your lawn.

It may be a slightly different colour at first but will adjust over time.

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Reseeding your lawn is the least expensive and time-consuming way to repair bare patches on your lawn.

But the unfortunate part of this is that it can take several weeks to fully blend in with the rest of your lawn.

To reseed your lawn effectively, you should rake and remove any debris and dead grass from the area.

This is best done with a rake or other garden tool.

You should then examine the area for grub damage and pull up any damaged patch of lawn.

Next, you need to loosen the soil with a lawn rake or garden cultivator.

Add several inches of compost and mix it into the existing soil with your take.

Make sure to smooth over the top edge of the soil and then spread some of the mix into adjacent areas.

Sprinkle some grass seeds evenly across the areas, ensuring the seeds are spread thick enough to cover the area, but not too thick as to pile up on one another.

Use an appropriate grass seed for your area and microclimate.

You should then likely rake the seed to distribute it evenly which may lead to some of the seed being covered by a thin layer of soil.

Until the seeds germinate you may need to protect the area from birds by using reflective tape or pinwheels mounted on short stakes to deter them.

Water the seedlings and keep them moist throughout the day, especially in hot weather.

Allow the grass to grow slightly longer than the rest of your lawn until the colour of the patched area begins to blend in with the rest of your lawn, which may mean you have to avoid mowing it for two or three mowing cycles.

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