Date: May 1989 (Revised April 1995)
Source: NDSU Extension Service Horticulturists
Lawns often have areas of thin grass or bare spots which detract from the overall appearance. In most cases, the rest of these lawns are in good condition and homeowners do not want to tear them out and start over again.
Many people attempt to correct bare and thin patches merely by scattering seed over the spots. This is a waste of both time and money.
To establish good grass growth on problem areas, you must follow certain steps. First, clip the lawn low to get rid of as much existing vegetation as possible. Remove dead grass and leaves near the soil surface with a rake. The surface should be completely exposed. Fill low spots with good soil; loosen the soil already present in bare spots.
Once you have exposed and loosened the soil, you can seed the spot. Roll it lightly after seeding and continue to clip low until the new grass establishes itself. Keep the newly seeded areas moist until the grass is up. Straw or hay mulch helps conserve moisture.
The best times to plant grass are between May 10 and June 1 or between August 15 and September 15.
Additional information on this topic is included in the Extension bulletin H-244, "A Beautiful Lawn Can Be Yours," which is available at your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.
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