How to Fix Patchy Grass and Bare Spots in Your Lawn

how to fix patchy grass

Fixing patches in your lawn is one of the best ways to improve the overall appearance and health of your grass. Patchy areas can be caused by several different issues, such as disease or pests, but there are easy ways to fix them. The key to repairing a patch of bare spots is identifying what caused them in the first place and then determining how best to fix them.

Fix Patchy Grass Easily

Patchy grass can be caused by many things, including insects and disease. There are many ways to fix patchy grass. Your options include:

  • Using sod to repair large bare areas - If you have a large area and want an instant green yard, sod is your best choice. Although more costly than grass plugs, it transforms your lawn with fresh green grass immediately.

  • Planting grass plugs in small patches - Grass plugs are great when you are on a budget, or have more time on your hands to allow the grass plugs to grow in. Depending on how tightly planted together, grass plugs could take up to three months to fill in an area. Grass plugs are great for smaller areas, just plant 1-3 grass plugs in each small patch, and watch them fill the space in! Our SodPods grass plugs come in seven different varieties, so there is sure to be one that fits your lawn. 

Improve the soil

Remove weeds in lawn

The first step to improving the soil in your yard is to remove weeds, rocks and other debris. If you have a large area of bare spots on your lawn, it may be best to hire a landscaper who can do this task for you. Once your soil has been cleared of debris, add organic matter such as compost or mulch around the edges of each bare spot so that grass can grow back quickly once watered well with water from an irrigation system like a sprinkler or automatic timer. Then apply fertilizer according to package instructions slowly over time until all bare spots are covered by new growth.


Check your irrigation system

Check your irrigation system

One reason you may have dead grass patches in your lawn is an improper use of irrigation. Lawns change and can experience harm from vehicles or natural disasters. It is important to have an active irrigation system equally watering your entire yard. A great way to test if areas are missing water application is by putting multiple small cups across your yard and run your irrigation system. Once finished watering, check each cup to see if they have the same heights. There could be a cup without any water, and that points to a neglected area of your lawn. This simple fix could drastically change your yard for the better. 

If you are starting fresh with new sod, grass plugs, or grass seed and don’t already have an irrigation system, why not install one? Contact your local landscaper or hardware store and find out more on how to set your grass up for success.


Aerate the soil

Lawn aeration

Aerating your lawn is a simple and effective way to improve the health of your grass. It's also something you should do in the spring, when there's still plenty of time before summer heat makes it harder for your soil to absorb nutrients. Aerating helps loosen compacted soil and encourages roots to grow deeper into the ground--which means that even if you have patchy spots on your lawn now, they'll be less likely to reappear later on.

The best way to aerate is by using an aerator attachment on a riding mower or tractor (or renting one). The process involves driving over bare patches repeatedly until they're penetrated by sharp spikes sticking out from each wheel; these holes allow air into otherwise compacted areas so water can reach more easily-accessible parts of each root system. If possible, try not only driving over those problem areas but also running over other parts of your yard where there are no problems yet--this will prevent them from occurring later!


Add more fertilizer


If your lawn is patchy and bare, it may be a sign that you need to add more fertilizer.

Fertilizer is the best way to help grass grow and thrive in your yard. However, not all fertilizers are created equal--some are better than others at helping your grass grow thickly and evenly throughout the year. To find out which type of fertilizer works best for your lawn, speak with an expert at your local garden center or ask them about their most popular products. Nitrogen-based fertilizers are known for being effective at bringing out vibrant green color in plants like flowers as well as grasses like those found on sports fields or playgrounds; however, follow label instructions carefully to ensure safe and effective use.


Patching with sod:

Sod is a good option if you're looking for a quick fix. In addition, because sod is more expensive than grass plugs, it's best suited for large areas where the bare spots are scattered throughout the lawn or if time is of the essence and you need something fixed quickly

Sod is a grass that's grown in a controlled environment and sold in rolls or squares. Sod is cut directly from our field and delivered to the customer on the same day! Sod can be used for small patches; however, sod is most commonly used for larger projects, such as entire lawns, commercial green spaces, and athletic fields. Sod is the preferred choice for these projects because of its instant transformation. The best time to lay sod is in the spring,and fall. Once the sod is laid down, it will require water and attention to get it established. It is important to not let it dry up in this vulnerable state.

Patching with Grass plugs:

If you have a bare patch of lawn that needs to be filled, a grass plug is the perfect way to do it. Grass plugs are small young plants that can be planted directly into the ground and will grow into full-sized grass within weeks. 

SodPods grass plugs are different from sod because they have an established root system. This means they experience less plant shock when trying to grow into your lawn. It also takes less water to establish grass plugs than to establish new sod. SodPods are a great way to experience lawn success at a less costly price.

When patching your lawn with grass plugs, clear the area with a shovel if needed. Then, plant holes 12 inches on the center apart from each other. For easy planting, try using an auger attached to your drill. Once the holes are created, just place the SodPods grass plug in and pack in air pockets with dirt. From there, just water routinely, making sure the grass plugs do not dry out.

The best time to plant these grass plugs depends on where you live: spring or fall are both good options for planting in most regions of North America (though early spring may be too cold). If possible, choose a day when it's not raining--you don't want any water pooling around your newly-planted plugs!


Fixing Small Sections of Lawn

If you have a small section of lawn that needs to be fixed, the best way to do it is with sod. You'll need a sharp spade and some patience as well as some new soil from elsewhere in your lawn.

First, use the spade to cut out the patchy area of grass so that you can see what's underneath it--usually bare earth or weeds growing up through cracks in hardpan clay soil. Then remove all the grass from this area by digging down about 6 inches deep and pulling it out by hand (don't worry about getting rid of every single blade). Next, replace this old soil with new topsoil from somewhere else on your property where there's better drainage; this will make sure water doesn't pool up underneath your new sod and cause more problems later on down the line!

Fixing Large Thin & Patchy Sections of Lawn

If your lawn is patchy, the first thing you want to do is compact the soil with a lawn roller. This will help seal any leaks in your soil and help it retain moisture better. Next, fertilize your lawn with nitrogen-rich fertilizer (10-10-10 or 15-15-15) by following package directions. Then overseed those thin or bare areas with new grass seed that matches what's growing in surrounding patches of healthy turfgrass. 

Once your grass plugs have become established--usually within 2 weeks--mow them regularly at recommended height for your specific variety; this will encourage them to grow as fast as possible.


As you can see, patching bare spots and thin patches in your lawn is not as difficult as it may seem. The key is to be patient, watch for signs of new growth, and keep up with regular maintenance on your lawn so that it stays healthy and beautiful!


Bethel Farms


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