Any ideas how to get these bare spots filled in again? Same spots, same
places as last year about this time. Location is So Calif. No rain to
speak of, but have been watering a couple of times a week.
Last year I spent a lot of time preparing the soil, raked in some peat
moss & sowing perennial rye. Kept it watered and had moderate success.
Now this year, it's mostly all gone and back like it was before.
In this photo, the foreground is near a water spigot and gets plenty of
water from general use. The rest is all hand watered and is greening up
in some places, all except the bare spots which doesn't change from week
There is still plenty of peat moss and decent dirt.
The foreground that gets plenty of water is green and lush. The rest is bare. That would suggest that lack of water is the problem. Particularly
when it's been reseeded, still has shallower roots and will need to be
watered more. The "hand watered" suggests a problem too. I don't know
exactly what that means, but it takes a lot of water and even with a
sprinkler system, a long time to put it down. And no matter what your
intentions, it's hard to stand there for more than 15 mins with a hose.
Typical sprinkler system with 2 gal/min heads needs to run for an hour
minimun per zone to put down a reasonable amount of water, eg at least a 1/2"
If you have one and put down some empty tuna cans, you'll be surprised
at how long it takes to get 1/2". And a lawn typically needs 1" a week,
more in hot weather. Figure out the area size, due the math and see
how many gallons it takes.
I'm no expert in CA turf types, but usually a mix of various seed
types, including some bluegrass which can repair via rhizomes is a
better strategy than using one just one variety. And if it's going to
have limited water, I'd look for grass seed that's targeted for less
what is underneath them?
dig them out (down at least eight
inches) and break up the soil, perhaps
add a little lime if it is acidic.
get different seed, a mix that will
blend with your existing lawn is best.
not the best time to be doing this
with the summer coming on, you'll likely
have to mist several times a day...
mulch lightly over the seed, but not
too heavy. i don't think i'd use peat as
that can repel water once it gets dry.
clean straw works well enough. or even
+1. Especially since from what I can see it looks like lack of water could
have been the problem to begin with. Unless you have an automated waterin
g system, it's hopeless to try to grow grass in most of the USA now. I saw
guys raking and tossing out seed on a local church lawn just a few days ag
o. It's not irrigated at all and doomed to failure.
I'd be careful with straw. I know it's widely used, but I've had problems f
rom nasty weeds, including undesirable grasses, which are even worse, becau
se you can't get rid of most of them with herbicides. I've heard that you'
re supposed to use "weed free" straw, which is perhaps what you mean by cle
an straw. Where you get such a thing, IDK.
I'd be worried that grass clippings are too dense,
matted, etc and would mulch out the new grass.
Thanks SB! More suggestions are welcome!!!!!
Hardware stores here were out of the standard mix, shake and be amazed
test kits. HD had an electronic gadget that claimed to measure pH and
"Fertility". No other instructions or info on the package. So I got one
to try it out.
Instructions were to remove the top 2-inches. Then dig up the next 5
inches, remove plant parts, crumble up and add water (I used distilled)
to a mud consistency. The top 2-inches were normal looking in all
spots, but under than, it was hard as rock and sandy colored. This area
was once a riverbank and
I tested 1 good and 1 bad spot near each other in the sun, and other
pair in the shade. pH was 6.3 - 6.7 in both bad spots and 7.0-7.2 in
the good spots.
For both good spots, "fertility" readings were in the low end of the
"ideal" section of the gauge. For both poor spots, it settled in
between "needs something" and low end of the "ideal" range.
Interesting, but that's pretty much what I already knew.
Instructions with the tester were not good enough for an amateur like
me. Said..... if it's low, get some fertilizer for whatever plants you
have and follow their instructions. But no idea whether it needs P, K
or N. So much for the "fertility" indicator. So I cleaned it up and
returned it. Lady at the store said, "we get a lot of these back. The
test kits will be in Friday."
Last year, I used the std test kits and the poor areas didn't even color
the liquid for phosphorus, was OK with potassium and medium/low in
nitrogen. I spread some 15-15-15 fertilizer at the recommended rate.
Probably helped but to me it didn't look any better at the end of the
season. New perennial seed came up fine, but is gone this year.
We still have a month of relatively cool weather here, so I'll give it
another try and hope to beat the heat.
More suggestions please! I'm a rank amateur! LOL!!
same places as last year about this time. Location is So Calif. No
rain to speak of, but have been watering a couple of times a week.
peat moss & sowing perennial rye. Kept it watered and had moderate
success. Now this year, it's mostly all gone and back like it was
of water from general use. The rest is all hand watered and is greening
up in some places, all except the bare spots which doesn't change from
week to week.
is bare. That would suggest that lack of water is the problem.
Much obliged, T4! Lots of good info.