Having a lawn damaged by a vehicle occurs at least once in many property owners' lifetime. When this occurs, the affected area becomes prone to drainage problems and possibly becomes a hazard. Repairing the area is the best solution. You can fix a lawn with tire marks in it easily in one afternoon. After the grass is seeded, it takes little time and effort to erase the damage completely.
Fix the lawn in spring, if possible, so that the grass has time to grow and fill in the area. If the damaged area is prone to poor drainage and needs to be repaired before spring, shovel in topsoil to temporarily maintain drainage. When springtime comes, continue to the next step.
Use the hoe and claw rake to break up the ground around the tire marks. Square off the area around the damage and remove roughly 6 inches of the soil so that you also remove damaged roots as well as any evidence of tire damage. If the tire marks are deeper, dig out the damaged area and level off the ground as best possible with the claw and leaf rakes.
Put the topsoil in place so that the area is level with the surrounding lawn. Rake the topsoil smooth to even out the ground. Keep the soil loose to allow the seeds to get under the dirt.
Spread the grass seed at a rate of between 3 and 4 lb. per 1,000 feet. Seed by hand for small areas; if the tire marks take up a larger area, use a fertilizer spreader for best results.
Lightly rake the grass seed into the topsoil with the leaf rake until only 5 to 10 percent of the seed is visible. Do not bury the seeds; keep the seeds within 1/4 inch of the surface. Water the seeds with 1/2 inch of water with the sprinkling can to settle the seeds into the topsoil.
Tamp down the soil lightly with the flat side of the hoe. This will give some protection to the seeds from birds or wind that can quickly reduce your potential seed growth.
Place the straw over the area to keep water from washing away the seeds during any rain. Peat moss is a good alternative to straw.
Apply fertilizer to the area according to the directions on the label. Use a product specifically labeled as “starter fertilizer."
Keep the area damp for up to 4 weeks or until the grass looks to be established. Water daily until the grass begins to sprout. Reduce the frequency of watering once the grass becomes visible but increase the amount of water provided to compensate.
Avoid mowing the area until the new grass reaches 2 inches in height. Keep the lawn mower at a lower setting for up to 4 weeks after seeding so light reaches the seeds, allowing the seeds to germinate.