Proper lawn maintenance requires paying attention to several factors affecting grass growth and lawn health. Overseeding your lawn will revitalize damaged or dead patches of grass by adding new seedlings to replace grass in trouble spots. Aeration allows moisture to reach deeper into the soil. Choose the correct method to address the needs of your lawn.
Repairing thinning grass requires an overall approach to treating the soil and remaining grass. Thatch, a collection of dead grass and roots just beneath the soil surface, is a common culprit for a thin lawn. Remove the thatch with a garden rake or automatic dethatching tool. Create avenues for the moisture to reach the roots below the thatch surface with an aerator. An aerator will punch holes into the soil or remove plugs of soil to allow room for the moist soil to expand.
Dead or Brown Spots
Dead spots in your lawn can be caused as a result of a number of circumstances. Pet urine contains ammonia and will burn the grass if sprayed in the same general location over time. Rinse the area thoroughly to dilute any remaining ammonia. Overseed the area to replace the dead grass with new seedlings. Use your hand to overseed small areas, spreading 15to 20 seeds per square inch. Larger areas damaged by sun or heavy foot traffic require the use of an automatic spreader to overseed the lawn.
Spring Lawn Maintenance
After cold and dry winters, revitalizing your lawn can require both methods of maintenance. Check for dead spots and areas where thinning is found. Overseed the parts of your lawn that need more grass density. Do not aerate first. Plug aerators remove plugs of soil and will trap seeds into the remaining openings and not allow the seeds to be spread evenly. Aerators should be used on moist lawns. Hard or frozen soil will not be able to be penetrated by either spike or plug aerators. Water the lawn and allow the moisture to seep into the soil before attempting to aerate.
Use fertilizer to foster faster and healthier grass growth. Take caution in using fertilizer in warmer months as the chemicals in the fertilizer can burn the grass with the heat from the summer sun. Use an overseeder to spread the grass seed first. Rake the seeded areas thoroughly to ensure the seed-soil contact required for grass growth. Use the spreader to apply the fertilizer. Check the instructions on the bag of fertilizer to guide you in adjusting the drop or spread settings on the overseeder. Too much fertilizer can damage the lawn and delay grass growth.