How to Patch the Dead Spots on Your Lawn

Plant (and fertilize) some seeds

Once you’ve broken up all the thatch, it’s time to plant some seeds. Grass seeds do best when scattered in an even layer across the soil; if you look closely, the area should be about 50% seed and 50% dirt. In the video above, The Lawn Whisperer suggests gently running your cultivator tool over the seeded area to help work them in a bit.

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Next, you’ll want to fertilize the seed. You can use any kind of fertilizer that’s indicated for “starter lawns”—these varieties have a high phosphorus content, which encourages root growth. Liquid or granulated fertilizer can both work, but there are pros and cons to each type. The Home Depot website has a helpful guide to lawn fertilizers, and you can find location-specific recommendations through your state university’s extension program.

Keep it watered—and be patient

Grass needs a lot of water to grow, so you’ll have to keep your new seedlings nice and moist—but not drenched. To do this, lawn care company Scotts recommends misting freshly planted seed at least twice a day, then switching to slightly heavier watering once it germinates.

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Finally, patience is key. Resist the urge to mow your new grass until it’s at least a couple of inches tall. If you mow too soon, you’ll just rip out the root network you worked so hard to establish. This can take several weeks or even longer, depending on your soil and what kind of grass you’re working with, but it will happen eventually. Just keep at it: With regular watering and a little help from the fertilizer, your grass will grow back.