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Q&A: What’s the best way to repair bare patches in my lawn?

Consumer Reports News: May 16, 2008 12:09 AM

My lawn has several small bare spots. What’s the best way to repair these bald patches?

You can easily revive your yard without starting from scratch. Since you’re dealing with small areas, the easiest fix is to patch the bare spots.

1. Dig up and remove the damaged section, plus 6 inches of surrounding, healthy lawn, cutting 2 inches deep.

2. Smooth and level the soil. Add a small amount of soil amendment and starter fertilizer, firm the soil, water, and level again if needed.

3. Replant with seed, sod, or sprigs. For seed, cover lightly, press into place, and keep moist until germination. For sod, cut a section to fit, press it into place to firm roots against soil, and water frequently until rooted. For sprigs or plugs, plant them a few inches apart, cover lightly and press into place, and water until rooted.

NOTE: Do not use a fertilizer with crabgrass or weed control in the area to be reseeded six weeks before seeding and until after the new grass seed has germinated. Otherwise the grass will not germinate.

Essential information: See our lawn and yard guide for more expert advice for your property, including details on planting the right grass.

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