Monday, April 20, 2020

Filling In Those Bare Spots In The Lawn

Horticulture Hotline 04/20/20
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

Right now, at the three Possum stores, we are getting many questions about filling in dead spots from the winter. There are a few questions you want to ask yourself before you begin this task. Why is there a bare spot? How big is the bare spot? Where is the bare spot located? How quickly do I need to see results? What kind of grass do I have now? What kind of herbicides have been used on my lawn and do they inhibit the establishment of grass?

First off, you would want to know what type of sod you have and whether or not seed is even an option. St. Augustine (Charleston grass) does not have seed. 419 Bermuda grass does not produce a viable seed. Many of your zoysia grasses do not have seed. Therefore, sodding, sprigging / plugging, or fertilizing what grass you have until it fills in is an only choice. Always think long term – don’t use cheap Bermuda seed to fill-in when you have another grass, then spend the rest of your life trying to rid your lawn of the Bermuda grass you seeded.

Has a tree grown up over the years and now this area is shaded? If that is the case instead of trying to grow grass, you might be better off converting the area into a bed.

Have you had a boat parked beside your driveway or a child that has moved away (and not come back), so you have an area the size of a car that you want to fill in? Sodding this area or sprigging / plugging (cutting sod up into pieces and planting those pieces) might be a good option.

Any smaller areas the size of a baseball to the size of a basketball, I like using Cotton Burr Compost, SeaHume, and a fertilizer. Watching the grass run into these areas brings immediate gratification. This combination of products works great in insect damaged, fungus damaged, dog damaged areas or any area that needs help.

If you are going to seed (bermuda, centipede, or zoysia) remember you want your soil temperature three inches down to be 70 degrees (not quite there) in the coolest part of the yard that you are seeding. Make sure any herbicides that would impede the establishment of your grass have not been applied. Be prepared to keep the soil moist for 20 – 30 days for zoysia and centipede and 5 – 14 days for bermuda.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.