Over the summer, bare patches in your lawn can occur from various causes. Whether the bare patch is from high traffic, disease, lack of water, grubs or competing weeds, fall is a good time to repair your lawn. In the fall, the soil is still warm so grass seeds will germinate quickly, but the sun is lower in the sky, so there isn't excessive heat that can be overly drying or cause damage to new grass plants.
Repair Bare Patches
Remove dead and dying grass down to bare soil. Use the garden fork to scratch out dead grass, and pull up anything that appears rotted or moldy. Dispose of this waste to avoid spreading any disease or fungus.
Scratch up the soil, and add some soil mix to level off the area. Make your own fill soil in a large bucket using some potting mix, some compost---and include some garden topsoil if you wish.
Sprinkle some grass seed evenly over the prepared soil. Use only the amount of seed recommended. Too much grass seed will be overly competitive and new plants will choke each other out before they have a chance to grow strong root systems.
Water the patches twice a day. Water only enough to keep the soil moist. You don't want to flood the patches, or the seed and new grass may rot.
Mulch lightly with straw over large patches. This will keep birds from eating the seed, and will help retain moisture.
Redirect walkways if the cause of the bare patch is too much foot traffic. If it is a recurring problem, consider making a permanent path.
Control grubs. Grubs eat the roots of grasses and cause bare spots and brown grass. Treat your lawn with beneficial nematodes for a safe, organic solution to grub problems.
Remove the top few inches of soil if the bare spot was caused by spilled gasoline or other chemicals. Replace it with your soil mix, seed the area, and keep it watered.
Pull out crabgrass and other weeds that smother your lawn grass. Remove roots of weed grasses completely, and rake your soil mix in to make the area level. Reseed and water the patch.
About this Author
Fern Fischer is a freelance writer with more than 35 years' experience. Her work has been published in various print and online publications. She specializes in organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family articles. Fischer also writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art.