Reseeding The Bald Spots in Your Lawn

Reseeding The Bald Spots in Your Lawn

If your lawn had large bald spots where the grass either didn’t grow or was damaged due to high traffic, digging, urine burns, the wrong grass seed for the area, weather, etc... Well, not to worry! You’ve arrived at the blog post that will teach you how to fix those bald spots!

Before we dive in with instructions, please be sure to read the entire article before heading to the store to buy supplies. We offer advice at each step regarding things to purchase to make this job easier. Also, make sure that you’re planning to do this in spring (well before the extremely hot temperatures hit) or Fall, after the extremely hot temperatures are passed but before things start freezing. Fall is the best time to plant seed, but spring is a close second and you can fix your lawn if you get started in time!


Here are the steps:

1. Proper timing for the season. 

Grass seeds will take 14 to 21 days to germinate after sowing once the ground reaches an optimal temperature. If the soil is too cold, the germination times will be longer. The other concern when reseeding in the spring is when the last frost day comes around and in fall, the first frost. A hard frost hitting newly emerging grass seed can be devastating. The last frost in spring usually comes around May 5th through 10th. Counting back two to three weeks, you would ideally want to sow your grass in mid-April. You can cheat this a bit by adding some compost or other mulch. Measuring the soil temperatures is wildly variable based on where you are in the Valley. So, a good rule of thumb is to wait until daytime temperatures are above 50 degrees for five days. In the fall, our first frost usually occurs around October 10th through 24th. Using the count-back timing, the latest you would want to sow your grass seed is mid-September. 

2. Measure the area(s) needing reseeded.

This may seem like a burdensome first step, but it will save you time and money when buying compost and seeds. The easiest way to determine square footage is to take each area and measure length and width, then multiply. Take all the areas and add them together for total square footage. For example, if a spot is about 3 feet by 2 feet, it is 6 square feet (3X2). If you have 5 of those spots (all about the same size), you have 30 square feet (6+6+6+6+6).


3. With your measurements in hand, head to Zamzows to get your supplies.

Once at the store, you will be looking for bags of compost (for smaller areas) or arranging the tractor to dump yards of compost into the back of your pickup truck (for larger areas). Plan on applying about a ¼ inch of compost to the soil (.02 X square feet of the bald spots in your lawn = total amount needed). It helps to get sifted compost or just plan to break up big chunks so the seeds don’t get smothered.

You will also be going to the grass seed section to pick up the grass you need. There will be two things to think about while in this section: 1. Which KIND of grass do I need and 2. HOW MUCH do I need?

A Zamzows employee should be able to help you with which kind of seed to use, but we take a lot of the guesswork out by only selling seeds that work in the Treasure Valley and through the naming of our grass seed blends (ex: Shade Blend, Heavy Traffic Blend, etc…). If you just want a general all-uses grass that is beautiful and grows well everywhere, we recommend Zamzows Custom Lawn Blend.

For the amount needed, most seed instructions will recommend a range, like 250-400 square feet per pound. Use the heaviest amount to fill in bare spots. The lower rates are for over-seeding. Again, pull out your measurements and determine how much seed you need. Once you know the amount, Zamzows has two offerings to save you money. If you only have small spots, buy only what you need by purchasing seed in bulk. Likewise, if you have a very large area, you can save money by buying large bags. Just know the amount you need and we’ll set you up with the right amount of seed to avoid waste.

Other optional, but helpful, tools to consider while you’re at Zamzows are:

Hose, sprinkler, and timer – If you don’t have a sprinkler system and can’t be home to water your seeds a couple of times a day to keep them moist while they get established, then these items could be the key to your success.

Wheelbarrow – If you got bulk compost, trust us that a wheelbarrow is the very best tool you can buy and you’ll find uses for it all year long!

Gloves – You probably have some and the holes aren’t that big, but when you’re handling this much compost, you’ll be glad for the protection! Check out the new options, colors, and sizes to fit every hand and gardening activity.

Once you’re back home, the real fun begins!


4. Prepare the bald spots. Grab a bag of compost (or a yard of bulk compost depending on the size of your bald spots) and spread the compost evenly over the spots. This creates a good bed for the seeds to sprout and take root. It also holds moisture for the seeds to sprout.

If your bald spots are large or take up big areas of your yard, we recommend renting one of our compost spreaders to make the job easier (call Zamzows for availability). Using a spreader makes the job easier and helps evenly disperse the compost over large areas of your yard. Be sure to break up any large chunks as you’re spreading the compost.


5. Sprinkle grass seed over the compost in the bald spots. This can be done by hand for small spots or if you have larger areas, you can use a drop spreader to disperse the seeds. You do not want to use a broadcast spreader (like the ones that are used to apply fertilizer) because those throw the seeds outward and you’ll end up with grass in your flowerbeds. (See information above about how much seed to put down.) 

For smaller areas consider picking up our new Spot Regrow. Zamzows Spot Regrow has your mulch, seed, starter fertilizer, and seed all in one convenient container! 

6. WATER. WATER. WATER. You don’t want to drown your seeds, but you do want them to remain moist all the time. Dried-up seedlings are death for your new grass. So, set your sprinkler system to go off for short periods of time 2-3 times per day.


7. Tread lightly… and don’t mow! Give your baby grass seedlings a chance by staying off the grass (yes, that means your dog, too). You may also have to suffer the embarrassment of your grass being patchy for a while because you can’t mow the seedlings until they are fully established. Trust me, your neighbors will be green with envy once your newly patch grass grows into a lush full lawn!


Note: Because many people do not know what kind of grass they have, if you only fix patches, you are likely to see color differences in your lawn for a little while. If the grasses are entirely different, you might decide to over-seed the good lawn with some of the seed you’re using to patch. Regardless, your lawn will be back to looking great soon! Good luck and come see us at Zamzows if you have further questions!

 If you need some visual help, check out this video over at the Zamzows Youtube channel.