Rake the lawn with a broom rake. You want to remove the thatch from your grass and give the grass seed room to grow. A “double duty” rake can rake with one side and dethatch with the other side.
- Loosen the soil in the bare spots to a depth of about 1″ or more with a soil-loosening tool/cultivator.
- Sprinkle the bare spots in your lawn with a good grass fertilizer and then rake it level.
- If bare spots are heavily compacted, you’ll need to loosen soil to a 6″ level. You’ll need to add some peat moss to the area to keep it loose after applying the seed.
- After the soil has been completely prepared, seed the bare spots by hand. Lightly sprinkle the grass seed on the bare areas. Choose a grass seed appropriate for the area you are working on. There are good grass seeds available for shady areas as well as areas that receive direct sunlight. The people at your favorite nursery should be able to point you in the right direction.
- When you have applied a light application of grass seed, mist the area lightly with water.
Some Helpful Things to Remember
- Keep the freshly seeded area moist at all times until the grass seed has had a chance to germinate. You can then water the seeded area when you water the rest of your lawn.
- Birds love seed, right? So what’s to stop them from feasting on your newly laid grass seed? Put a little fence around the seeded area. Use wooden stakes to delineate the area and tie a generous piece of red “flash tape” around each stake. This is supposed to scare birds away from the seeded area.
- Cover the area with a thin layer of organic matter, such as compost or straw. The key here is to be sure the layer is thin.
- Gently cover the area with clear sheets of polyethylene plastic. Secure your edges with some rocks or stakes. It works almost like a little greenhouse. Remove plastic when you see sprouts of new grass. You’ll still need to keep the little sprouts constantly moist until they’re about an inch tall.
Pretty soon, the seeded areas will blend in with the rest of the grass. Your grass will look perky and young, with a little help from you.