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How to Fix Dead Spots in a Lawn

Lawn Disease
4 min read

There can be several causes for patchy dead spots in your lawn. Find out why they happen and how to fix them from the experts at Jonathan Green.

The Jonathan Green name has represented genetically superior grass seed, innovation, integrity, determination, and a commitment to excellence since 1881. Today, six generations later, we remain committed to producing superior lawn and garden products.

Why Are There Dead Spots in My Lawn?

You can do everything right and then suddenly discover a patch of grass that is dead or is dying. Here are several common causes:

  • Hard or compacted soil can make it difficult for grass seed to grow because the roots are unable to access the air and soil nutrients they need to grow.
  • Shade from trees, buildings, and other objects can cause thin grass growth, straggly grass, and bare patches. There may be dead spots in the lawn because those areas are not getting enough sunlight.
  • Fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides and some insect repellants can cause brown spots if spilled. If not applied properly, these products could burn the grass.
  • Lawn diseases and insects like soil surface-feeding chinch bugs and sub-soil feeding white grubs, can cause thin, patchy grass.
  • The family dog can also be a culprit for some of the brown spots that appear in our lawns.

Fixing the Problem

Overseeding the lawn or introducing some fresh seed into the thin, patchy areas is the best solution. We recommend either Black Beauty® Ultra Grass Seed or Black Beauty® Fall Magic Grass Seed mixtures:

  • Black Beauty® Ultra Grass Seed is most similar to what is grown on sod farms. The seed mixture contains exclusive, elite varieties of tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass.  These cool season grasses grow a naturally dark-green and beautiful lawn with excellent heat and drought tolerance.  Black Beauty® Ultra Grass Seed germinates in about 14 days and will improve any lawn it is overseeded into.
  • Black Beauty® Fall Magic Grass Seed is specially formulated for successful fall seeding after Labor Day. It contains several cool season grass types, including Black Beauty® tall fescues. Use it in sunny and shady lawn areas on established lawns or to start a new lawn from scratch. Black Beauty® Fall Magic Grass Seed germinates in about 14 days and provides an attractive, thicker, greener lawn.
  • Black Beauty® Dense Shade Grass Seed is an excellent choice when seeding patchy areas that don’t get a lot of sunshine. It grows well in medium to densely shaded areas and dry soils where other seed mixtures have failed. Dense Shade Mixture contains naturally insect-resistant endophytic turfgrass varieties that help deter insect pests.

Before overseeding, it’s important to encourage good seed-to-soil contact. Clean out the dead grass, remove weeds, and get rid of rocks, sticks or other debris. Jonathan Green Love Your Soil® will loosen compacted soil and aerate it to give the new roots a better chance to grow. It will also feed the soil microbes, making the soil more alive and porous, and enhance root development.

Use a Soil pH Test Kit for Lawns to ensure that the soil pH is between 6.2 and 7.0. To balance the pH and help the lawn grow greener and healthier, use Jonathan Green MAG-I-CAL®. It can be applied the same day as you introduce the grass seed.

Learn how to fix dead spots in a lawn by visiting Jonathan Green online, or your nearest independent garden center or hardware store where you will get reliable lawn and garden advice.

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