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Filling in bare spots

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by gardeningmomma on May 04, 2006 01:26 PM
Anyone have any suggestions? Do I just put the grass seed down? How do I prepare the soil? I'd appreciate any guidance [grin]
by johnCT on May 05, 2006 12:47 AM
How did the spots become bare? What kind of conditions are the bare spots in and how large are they? Sunlight, etc.

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John - Zone 6
by The Plant Doc on May 05, 2006 01:22 AM
1st loosen the soil, then apply the seed, for a total bare area you would want to use 5 to 6 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet. If you are just thickening up you can use less. Once the seed is put down, incorporate it into the soil with the back of a grass rake, this can be done best by making strokes in a "X" pattern. Once the seed is covered you may wish to cover it with a mulch or salt hay. This is recommended if you are speaking of a hilly area where the seed can wash away. The next step would be watering, make sure the area does not dry out, specially after the seed starts to germinate!
If it is a sunny area you can pretty much expect to have crab grass there come later in the summer, as this will happen when ever you disturb the ground in the spring. If this happens you may need to re seed the area again come late summer or early fall. [Smile]

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by kyjoy on May 05, 2006 08:06 AM
There is always grass where you don't want it. Dig it up, dig a hole, and replant it. That's what I did and it filled in nicely.
by The Plant Doc on May 05, 2006 11:00 AM
KYJOY,

But if you did that, the grass would be where you want it and by Murphy's law it would wither and die. [Wink]

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by gardeningmomma on May 05, 2006 01:40 PM
Thanks guys! The bare spots are around the back door, so we think that the plow may have gone over them in the winter - removing the snow, grass and a layer of soil. It's not a big area, but looks awful nonetheless. Where can I find the hay? Would it be available at Lowes?
Thanks,
Gail
by The Plant Doc on May 05, 2006 02:54 PM
Gail,
I have not been back in NY is about 7 years so I am not sure who would sell it. Your best bet would be to let your fingers do the walking thru the yellow pages for landscape and garden suppliers or nurseries. I doubt the major chain hardware stores would carry it, but they may.
I would have to think that they would carry the newer seeding mulch pellets, that work very well.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by johnCT on May 06, 2006 12:45 AM
If its just a small spot, you won't need any hay or mulch. Also, how much seed you use per 1000 sq ft would have to depend on what variety you're gonna plant. If it's kentucky blue grass, which is the superior turfgrass, you'll only need 2-3 lbs per K. Perennial rye or fescues need more because they will not spread and fill in by themselves. You may want to try IDing the most prominant variety in the surrounding turf so you can plant the same type. Most important thing with sowing turfgrass seed is keeping the soil surface moist until the seed germinates. Good luck.

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John - Zone 6
by kyjoy on May 06, 2006 06:10 AM
Contrary to popular opinion, and because of the heat and humidity, KY Fescue 31 has become a very popular grass here (KY).
by The Plant Doc on May 06, 2006 02:38 PM
Okay my turn to voice which type of lawn I think is best [Wink]

Personally, I like using a mixture of grasses, usually fine and red fescues, perennial ryes and blue grasses,that way if a fungal disease starts up which targets one particular type of grass there will be others present so the damage will not appear to be as sever. If you only have one type of grass a disease could wreck havoc on the lawn.
In drought situations the fescues will do better then the ryes or blues, in excess moisture, the ryes will fair better. Blue grasses do make a beautiful lawn, but tend to be a bit more troublesome and temper mental as far as extremes in temps, humidity and rainfall go.
John is right if it is a pure KBG lawn, since the seed is so small,( 1/4 the size of the other seeds) a little bit goes much further. Fescues are slower to spread, but I think the rye is pretty quick as well, but this would mostly depend on its care.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by Patty S on May 06, 2006 05:26 PM
quote:
if a fungal disease starts up which targets one particular type of grass there will be others present so the damage will not appear to be as severe. If you only have one type of grass a disease could wreck havoc on the lawn.

Now why didn't I think of that?!  - It's SOOO simple! Mike, you've helped me so tremendously with my lawn issues, that I always try to read your posts over here! (I keep learning new things, & the whole picture is starting to come together for me now!) Thanks a bunch! [kissies]

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by gardeningmomma on May 07, 2006 04:15 PM
Thank you everyone [Smile] We have had a few really wet and warm days, so hopefully that will help our lawn to grow back. I've resisted the urge to cut it! I'm trying to keep it a little longer than I have done in past years, in the hope that the weeds are less likely to grow. I'll keep you posted on how it does.
by gardeningmomma on May 24, 2006 01:17 PM
Yay! We have grass in almost all the bare patches. Thank you everyone for your advice [Smile]

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