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Extension Notes: Repairing Bare Spots in Your Lawn

By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent

This fall, you may notice a few bare spots in your lawn but not enough to do a complete renovation. Fall is the perfect time to repair bare spots with cool-season grasses in a few easy steps. The combination of moderate day time temperatures, still-warm soil and cool evenings encourages germination and good root establishment well before next spring.

You should investigate why there are bare spots in your lawn and their causes. It could be a turf disease, pet urine, spilled lawn mower gasoline, fertilizer, high traffic areas or even large rocks close to the surface. In any case, it is always a good idea to get a soil sample and take it to your county extension office for testing to see if you have any need for a fertilizer application and to discuss options for correcting your problem area. Armed with the knowledge of what caused the bare spot and how to correct it, go home and get to work correcting the problem. This could be as simple as flushing the area with water where a fertilizer spill took place. Once corrected, you are ready to reseed. 

Follow the same directions as if you were reseeding your entire lawn. Break up the soil with a garden rake or a similar tool. Try to match the seed to the grass you already have. Mix seed with some topsoil or peat to avoid clumping and broadcast it over the area. Make sure you get good seed-to-soil contact by tamping the area. Water slowly and thoroughly to keep the soil moist, but not wet to encourage deep root growth. If you need to mow, do not mow the new grass until it is at least 4 inches tall. 

Contact the Carter County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations on ways to repair bare spots in your lawn. Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.



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