Repairing a damaged lawn can seem like a monumental task, especially if the damage to the grass is widespread. Whether the grass has been worn away from excessive foot traffic, or is browning and dying from lack of proper care, prompt attention is essential to maintaining a healthy yard. For most problems, a few simple steps and an afternoon of outdoor work are all that is needed to start a damaged lawn on the path to recovery.
Identify the damaged area and use a straight-edged shovel to designate a square border around the patch of lawn that needs to be replaced. Dig up the damaged square of lawn to the same depth as the sod that will be placed.
Apply a layer of fertilizer and compost to the exposed soil. Work this into the ground and level the area with a rake. Make sure that the exposed soil is still an inch or more below the level of the surrounding lawn to accommodate the depth of the sod.
Cut a piece of sod to the size and shape of the exposed patch of lawn. If you are working with a large area, you may need to lay several pieces of sod.
Line the sod up with the surrounding lawn carefully. Ensure that there are no gaps between the sod patch and the lawn or between one sod patch and another.
Step on the sod to work it firmly into place. The top of the sod should be exactly even with the lawn. If it is laid too high, scalping will occur when it is mowed. If it is too low, water will pool in the area.
Water the area thoroughly.
Mow the area of the lawn that you will be reseeding very closely. The shortened blades of grass will help to expose the bald patches of lawn for reseeding.
Rake the area to remove thatch and other debris and create a rough surface for seeding.
Sow grass seed as you would for a new lawn. This will help to ensure the maximum amount of fresh growth.
Apply a thin layer of compost over the reseeded area and water thoroughly.
Mow the freshly seeded part of the lawn in six weeks or when the grass is about three inches tall.