Bare patches in lawns can have many causes, the most common causes are described here. First the cause must be addressed and then the lawn can be repaired.
Identify the problem
These are the most common causes of bare patches in lawns:
- Wear and tear and soil compaction - areas where people or animals walk or run regularly, play areas, areas in and around lawn furniture, etc. Non-hardwering lawn grasses are more susceptible to wear and tear.
- Lawn Disease - Lawn diseases that cause bare patches include brown patch, dollar spot, fusarium and red thread.
- Lawn pests - lawn pests such as grass grub and porina caterpillar can damage lawn grasses causing bare patches.
- Weeds - when lawn weeds are controlled with selective lawn weed killers or spot treated with non-selective weed killers there may be a bare patch left where the weeds have died and been removed.
- Nutrient deficiencies - Because lawns are mown and nutrients removed as grass clippings nutrients in lawn soils may become depleted and need renewed. Also, the soil acidity/alkalinity (pH) if it becomes too high (acid soil) or too low (alkaline soil) this can affect the grasses ability to uptake nutrients. With low nutient levels or uptake lawn grasses will become dicoloured and weak allowing bare patches.
- Pet urine - pets, particularly dog, urine can cause dead patches in lawns.
It is important to identify and solve the underlying problem that caused the bare patches before the patches are repaired. Use the links in the Identifying section above or the Problem Solver to identify the problem in your lawn and find the solution.
- Use a rake to remove dead grass and debris from the bald patch and to loosen the top layer of the soil a little.
- Water the bare patch with a watering can or sprinkler until the soil is moist.
- If the level of the bare patch is much lower than the surrounding soil, you will need to level it off using a fine layer of top soil.
- Rake this over to level it off and incorporate a little soil with the surrounding lawn so the patch is not so defined.
- Ensuring the contents are well mixed, scoop out a handful of LawnPro Smart Patch Mix* and scatter onto the soil of the damaged area.
- Make sure that the mixture covers all the bare patch.
- Rake lightly to incorporate with the top soil.
- Water gently with a watering can or gentle sprinkler.
- Keep the patch moist by watering gently but deeply every couple of days taking care not to wash the seeds away.
- Protect the patch from being disturbed by keeping children and pets off the area.
- The new patch can be mowed when new growth is established (5-8 cm high).