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LEARN YOUR LAWN: Lawn Renovation and Repair

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What Should I Do If My Lawn Is Thinning Or Has Bare Patches? 

When it comes to repairing thin or bare areas of your lawn in the southern US, you have several options to consider. Here are some common approaches: 

Sodding involves laying down pre-grown grass patches or rolls. This method provides instant results and is ideal for larger bare areas or when you want a quick lawn transformation. Prepare the bare areas by loosening the soil and removing debris. Lay the sod pieces tightly together, ensuring good soil contact. Water thoroughly and keep the sod moist until it establishes. 

Plugging is another option for repairing bare spots. It involves planting small patches of grass, usually taken from healthy areas of your existing lawn. Use a plugger or a garden trowel to remove small plugs from healthy sections of your lawn and replant them in the bare areas. Space the plugs about 6 to 12 inches apart for even coverage. Water the plugs thoroughly and keep the area moist until they establish. 

Reseeding is an option, but it is more difficult and least popular option given the choice. If necessary, choose a grass seed suitable for your region and the specific conditions of your lawn. Prepare the bare areas by raking the soil lightly and removing any debris. Spread the grass seed evenly and lightly rake it into the soil. Keep the area consistently moist until the new grass establishes. 

Remember, it’s important to choose the right grass species suitable for your specific region and the growing conditions of your lawn. Additionally, proper watering, fertilization, and regular maintenance practices such as mowing and aeration will contribute to the overall health and density of your lawn.

Tips for lawn repairs: 

• Timing: The best time to repair your lawn is in the spring or fall. Temperatures are typically milder, allowing grass to establish strong root systems. Additionally, weed competition tends to be lower, giving your newly planted grass a better chance to thrive. It also provides more consistent rainfall, reducing the need for excessive irrigation in most cases. 

• Watering: Water daily for 15 to 20 minutes in order to keep the seed moist, especially if there is no supplemental water from natural rainfall. Follow a strict watering schedule for 14 to 21 days after overseeding. 

• Fertilization: Proper fertilization is important to support seed growth and development. Use a slow-release fertilizer to help the seed establish itself. 

• Core Aeration: Aerating your lawn can improve soil drainage and help reduce the likelihood of lawn diseases. This will also alleviate soil compaction and allow water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil. 

• Mowing: Maintain a regular mowing schedule with a razor sharp blade. Never remove more than a 1/3 of the grass blade at each mowing.

Recommended Mowing Height

Common Bermudagrass - 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 inches
Hybrid Bermudagrass - 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 inches
Centipedegrass - 1 to 2 inches
Zoysiagrass - 1 to 21⁄2 inches
St. Augustine - 3 to 4 inches
Fescue - 3 to 4 inches