Spring Seeding Dead Spots in the Yard

 
        Winter can be hard on your yard. Snow and cold, wet weather can create conditions for turf disease. Damage from winter traffic and, especially in urban areas, materials used to treat roads can also create dead patches in nearby yards. Critters like voles can also create winter damage. By following widely recommended growing practices, and giving those dead spots some careful care, you can patch those spots this spring.
            Many turfgrasses are cool-season grasses, meaning they are ideally established in the

Compost acts as a slow-release
fertilizer for your turf.

fall. But spring patching for winter dead spots is very possible. If you do decide to patch spots this spring, pay special attention to the soil. Dead spots could be the result of disease or cold-weather kill; but poor soil fertility and drainage can also make it tough for grass to thrive. Thoroughly work up the soil before seeding, when the soil is not too wet, adding plenty of organic matter, like compost. Compost adds structure to the soil and acts as a slow-release fertilizer, providing turf with necessary nutrients. Spreading about an inch of compost across existing turf also can also provide soil-building benefits.

 

            Newly seeded turf needs to be kept moist, but not soggy – a challenge during periods of heavy spring rains. Heavy rains can wash soil away from seeds; try using burlap, or synthetic materials available at most garden centers, which may be placed over grass seeding on dead spots to manage erosion. These covers also can prevent intrusion and seed-snatching by birds and other hungry critters. One benefit to spring seeding: there are usually plenty of other things for critters to munch in the spring, making your new lawn seeding a less attractive option in the spring smorgasbord for wildlife.

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