Fixing a Patchy Lawn – Tips and Tricks | Waddell Landscape Design

Feb 7, 2023

Our garden spaces are for relaxing and enjoying the environment, but unsightly dead grass can dampen the experience. It can be an eyesore seeing those bare patches amongst the green, so if this is the case the next thing you’ll want to do is repair it.

So, how to fix a patchy lawn then? Well, there are several solutions to the problem, but it can be a little more involved than laying out some new grass seeds and watering. Here, we’re going to help you identify the issue and help you come to a solution. We have some relatively easy fixes which you can do on the weekend, but some require a little more work. In this blog, you might learn a thing or two about your lawn, and how to get it from being patchy, to lush green again.

Identifying And Diagnosing A Patchy Lawn

To begin with, let’s talk about how we can identify and diagnose a patchy lawn. Patchy grass can happen in a few different ways and there are a few solutions to the issues. One thing is for certain though, it never looks good. Let’s get that fixed and get into how to fix patchy grass. 

Random Brown Patches

Have you begun to notice random patches across your entire lawn? Do you happen to have a dog? Chances are these bare spots are due to your dog relieving itself on your healthy grass. Dog urine contains a high PH level, and in small amounts, can work as a fertiliser. When there’s a high concentration of urine, it will kill the grass right down to the roots.

It’s an Easy Fix

This is a fairly easy level of garden maintenance. Water the bald spots to encourage new growth from the existing grass surrounding it, and avoid cutting this section of grass too low once it begins to reestablish itself. The next thing you want to do is train your furry friend to go elsewhere for a pee. If you notice your dog continuing to pee in the same spot again, get on top of killing that high level of PH by giving the grass and bare patches a good watering.

Bare Areas Near Pathways

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Patchy areas can typically be found around clotheslines, next to pathways, or where the pavement ends. These all have one thing in common, foot traffic. We use our gardens to walk around and do our daily chores, and as we continue to use the same paths every day, the lawn will thin and eventually reduce to bare earth.

The Easy Fix

So, how to fix this patchy grass issue? It’s as simple as avoiding walking on those spots. Then get the hose out and water it a little more than you would the rest of your lawn, just don’t oversaturate and drown your grass. Best to install a sprinkler that turns on midday for about half an hour or so. This lets the grassroots establish themselves in the moist soil and regrow.

The Hard Fix

Sometimes, we just have to walk along those places and can’t do much about it. For instance, if you have a clothesline it’s a pretty arduous task to move it to another position, then move it again once the grass in the new location begins to die. The best way to combat this is with a path or some stepping stones. We think stepping stones look great in almost every garden and can even bring character and life to it. If you’re unsure how to set a pathway, a quality landscaper offering garden maintenance services will be able to do the job.

Shaded Areas

At times, bald spots can begin to spread along wherever there isn’t enough sun getting to the lawn. For example, close to a wall of a building, or along the edge of a garden bed with plant or tree overhangs.

The Easy Fix

It’s about getting the sun to hit the grass as much as possible. For trees and plants, it’s just a matter of trimming them back and ensuring they don’t overhang your lawn. If the bare areas are just bare earth it’s best to spread out some seeds, and water them regularly. 

The Hard Fix

It can be unfortunate when you have a section of your lawn that never gets any sun due to the positioning of a building. Fixing the grass in a permanently shaded location can be pretty tricky. You might be able to get away with sowing some seeds with more shade-resistant grass, but this may not be a very good solution. Having unmatching grass types can look rather strange, and for those wanting a uniform and healthy lawn, this isn’t really an option. 

One way is to remove this section of grass entirely and use the space as a garden bed. Plants such as primrose are happy to be in the shade. 

Although if you want grass there we think the best solution to the issue is to re-turf and use a grass type that is more suited to shaded areas. If you’re unsure about what types of grass to use you may be best getting in touch with our experts here at Waddell Landscape Design. 

No Job Is Too Hard For Us 

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We understand that some of the solutions can be tricky, and it’s understandable if you’d need an extra helping hand. Without a professional eye knowing the root cause of your problem, the issues may arise again. 

Not to worry, there isn’t a landscaping job we can’t do here at Waddell Landscape Design. Whether you need some lawn repair work done or even some pavers installed, we’re here for you. Our lawn care services ensure your lawn is looking green and healthy all year round. 


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