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Extension > Local Extension Offices > Clay > County Horticulture Educator > Articles > Spring Lawn Repair

Spring Lawn Repair

Lawns are subject to many stressors such as weather extremes, foot traffic, diseases, etc.  It is no surprise to find a few areas of lawn that are bare or thin. Fortunately, these areas can usually be fixed by reseeding. The best time to seed grass in our area is from early August to early September although small areas may be repaired successfully this spring if seeding is done in a timely manner. 

Seeding should be done as soon as the soil is workable. Early seeding allows more time for grass plants to establish before the summer stress period. Depending on the size of area that needs reseeding, the soil may be prepared by hand or by using a vertical mower.

Prepare the area for seeding by briskly raking the soil, or if using a vertical mower set it to lightly scratch the soil surface. If seeding into an area that has some grass, overseed at a rate of one to two pounds per 1000 square feet.  If the area is essentially bare, increase the rate to three to four pounds per 1000 square feet. 

After spreading the seed, lightly rake into the surface so approximately 5 – 10% of the seed is visible. Over the next three to four weeks keep the soil surface evenly moist, but not soggy. As the new grass begins to mature water for longer periods of time and reduce watering frequency. 

Areas that were overseeded should be mowed to a height of one inch until all grass seed has emerged. Mowing height can be increased once the new grass has reached a height of one inch. Areas that were essentially bare should be mowed to maintain a grass height of two inches. Once all the grass has emerged and reached a height of two inches the mowing height may be increased. Grass seed emergence may take up to four weeks. 

Spring seeding success will depend on early planting, soil preparation, seeding rate, and post seeding care. If spring seeded areas establish poorly wait until early August and try again. 

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