Bald spots in our lawn can be caused by several things, but the most common cause is pet urine. Pets, especially dogs, have very strong urine, and they also tend to use the same spot over and over. This kills the grass in that spot and leaves the homeowner with unsightly patches.
Fortunately it is fairly easy to fix the problem and repair the spots. The first thing you need to do is try to have your pet stop using that particular area, or areas. Having the pet vary his elimination spots will help to keep the grass from dying in one particular spot.
Steps to Repair and Fix Bald Spots in Your Lawn
Clear the area.
First, take a rake and clear the dead grass out of the area. This is usually not to difficult, as the roots are also dead. Just pull the dead grass from the spot and discard it. Make sure to get all of it, as the roots can absorb the urine and release it back into the ground.
Lime is a caustic substance used to reduce the acidity of the soil. It is imperative that you not skip this step. Unless you reduce the acidity of your soil (caused by the ammonia in the pet urine) your grass seed will not grow and you’ll be looking at dead brown patches of dirt instead of dead brown patches of grass.
Lime can be purchased at any home and garden store. Take a handful and spread it evenly over the bare spots on your lawn. Make sure to cover the spot well to eliminate the ammonia in the urine.
Topsoil is the top two to three inches of soil. It is dark and nutrient rich and contains microorganisms that helps plants to grow well. It too can be purchased at any home and garden store. Lay down a good amount of topsoil on each of your bare spots. It should completely cover the lime and be at least 1/4″ thick to work best.
You will need to reseed the patches of lawn where the grass has died. Different regions of the country have different types of grass, so it’s important to find out what will grow best in your area and buy the proper seed. Some good resources for finding that information include your local county extension office, home and garden store or a plant zone map like the one found here.
When you spread your grass seed, make sure it doesn’t clump up. Spread a thin, even layer over your topsoil. It doesn’t have to be very thick–in fact it’s better if it isn’t. Cover the area well, then spread another layer of topsoil over the seed, covering it completely. Birds and other small animals like grass seed, so it’s important to cover it well to keep them from eating as much as possible.
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You can fertilize your entire lawn, including the bare patches, immediately if you choose. Make sure you choose a fertilizer that is environmentally friendly and apply it evenly to your lawn.
Make sure to water your lawn daily to help the new grass to grow well. If you live in an area where the sun is strong, water in the morning or evening to keep from burning the new grass as it pokes up through the soil. Also make sure you don’t over-water, as it will cause runoff and if your grass has not yet begun to grow, the seeds will be washed away.
Lawn Care Services
While it is easy to get rid of weeds and repair and replace the grass in your lawn, you may feel more comfortable calling a professional lawn service to do so. This is especially convenient if you have a lot of spots, or a very large area that needs to be reseeded. Make sure to choose a reputable lawn care company. Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau are good places to check a company’s reputation, and you can always ask friends and family for referrals as well.
A good lawn care company will come out, look over your lawn and explain exactly what they are going to do, as well as give you a detailed estimate before they begin. And if you are not satisfied with the outcome, they will come and work with you until you are happy.