There are several reasons that your lawn may develop thin, dry, or bare patches. The most common causes of a patchy lawn can be divided into two categories: patches caused by people or animals and those caused by growing conditions. Animal and human causes of patchy lawns include overuse and animal urine. Growing conditions that can cause lawn patches include poor or compacted soil, erosion, and drought. If you have a patchy lawn, here’s what you should know:
Dogs kill areas of grass by urinating in the same area repeatedly. These patches can be resolved with a handful of grass seed and training your dog to use another area of the lawn. If you see the dog mark or urinating, it can help to water that area immediately.
Every yard has high-traffic areas that are prone to getting a workout due to overuse. Areas around children’s play equipment or the most direct path from the back door or patio to the shed commonly get overused. In this instance, you can either reseed or returf the patches. Consider moving play equipment if you can or putting up temporary barriers to keep children and pets off the area until the new grass is established. Another option is to install step stones or a walkway to keep traffic off the grass.
Poor Growing Conditions
The best solution for patches caused by poor growing conditions is to reseed the lawn. This is true whether your patchy lawn is caused by compacted soil, erosion, or drought. If you are dealing with erosion, you may want to consider planting ground cover on steep slopes to prevent recurring issues.
Tips for Reseeding
When you reseed your lawn, your first step should be to loosen the soil. This can be done by hand, rake, or through aeration, and is especially important when dealing with compacted soil. If you choose to use a core aeration machine be sure to clearly mark any sprinkler heads or underground dog fences to prevent damage.
Secondly, look for a seed mixture rated to grow well in your local area that also addresses your needs. Central New Jersey is mostly zone 6 climate, while the Jersey shore is zone 7 climate. You should use about half the amount of seed you would need if you were seeding for the first time. After you have seeded, spread a thin layer of soil over the lawn. You’ll need one cubic yard of topsoil for every 1,300 square feet. Rake the topsoil out so it’s evenly spread.
Lastly, don’t forget to water the area lightly a few times a day for 1 to 3 three weeks. After the new grass is about an inch tall, you can reduce the watering to once a day. Once you’ve got 3 inches of new growth, you can mow. Keep your lawn looking great with an irrigation system from Garden Irrigation. Give us a call today at 1-800-WETLAWN to get started!