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OVERVIEW

 

Maintaining a beautiful lawn can be a lot of work. Lack of water, too much water, too much thatch, insects, over fertilization and an over abundance of weeds can all play factors in the demise of all or part of your lawn. Due to these varying factors, brown spots may occur in your lawn. These spots are easy to repair and you can see the fruits of your labor in about 3-4 weeks.

 

 

Skill Level & Time to Complete

  For a 5' x 5' area:
  • Beginner - 40 minutes 
  • Intermediate - 30 minutes
  • Advanced - 20 minutes
  - Do not over fertilize, as it will burn out the new grass.
  - Do not re-seed the area until you fix the problem that caused the grass to die.
  - Do not throw seed down and expect it to grow.
  - Never spread seed by hand. Use a handheld or broadcast spreader for best results.
  - Research the different materials that you can use to cover the repaired area. Straw is popular but can result in extra weeds.
  - Leaf Rake



SHOPPING LIST


Materials List
   Seed
   Straw, peat moss or pellets
 
Tools List
   Broadcast spreader
   Metal rake

 

1. The best time to reseed your lawn is in the fall. Fall is the prime time because the seeds aren’t competing with weeds for nutrients and it will be a long time until the hot summer sun reaches it. Spring is the next best season to reseed. If necessary, you can plant in the summer if you can keep the seeds constantly shaded and moist.
2. Before tearing up the dead area, take a visit to your local garden center to purchase your seed. They’ll be familiar with the type of seed that’s available for your area of the country. Let them know if the area is a sunny or shady area as different grasses thrive under different conditions.
3. Before reseeding your lawn, it’s important to figure out why the lawn died in the first place. Was it because of lack of water, too much water, too much thatch, insects, over-fertilizing or weeds? Once you have fixed the problem to keep it from happening again – you can reseed.
4. Lack of water.
You’ll probably know if the problem is lack of water due to a sloped or unleveled ground. If the ground is not level, use dirt to level the ground. If the area is sloped there won’t be too much that you can do except to make sure that the area is watered more frequently with extra attention to the top of the slope.
5. Too much thatch.
Thatch is created by the accumulation of the dead grass clippings. Small clippings made by mulching mowers will decompose into the soil. Larger clippings will accumulate and keep the soil from getting the necessary air and nutrients. If your thatch level is above ½” you’ll have to de-thatch your lawn. You can rent a dethatcher or purchase a special blade that you can attach to your lawnmower.

 

6. Insects.
If you feel that your lawn problems are due to insects, you can pull back the grass between the dead area and the healthy area to find the insects. If you find an insect, put it in a glass jar and take it too the local garden center for advice.
7. Over-fertilizing.
Too much fertilizer will almost immediately burn out your grass. Your only choice is to wait until it decomposes. When spreading fertilizer, make sure to check the bag for settings that match your spreader.
8. Weeds.
If your lawn is over run with weeds, you may need to replace the entire lawn. It’s best to catch the weeds before they spread by using weed killer in the early spring.
9. Once you’ve determined the cause of the problem, it’s time to prepare the area. First, mow the surrounding grass so that the seed can reach the soil.
10. Next, use a metal rake to remove all the dead grass.

 

11. Use the metal rake to loosen up the soil 2” to 3” so the roots of the new seed can grow easily. If you have hard clay soil, remove 2” to 3” and replace with topsoil. Use a leaf rake to level off the dirt.
12. Use a hand held spreader to spread the seed. If the area is larger, use a broadcast spreader for even spreading by going in horizontal rows then vertical rows.
13. Very lightly drag a leaf rake over the area to slightly cover the area with the dirt. Using a flat object, lightly tamp the area down.
14. You’ll need to keep the seeds shaded from the sun. You can use straw, water-absorbing pellets or peat moss to cover the area. Consult your local garden center for what’s best to use in your area.
15. Water up to 3 times a day to keep moist. Once the seeds have germinated (1-2 weeks), reduce watering to once per day. Lightly fertilize after the grass has reached 1” and mow the lawn when the height reaches 3”.

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