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How to Fix Thinning Grass

Grass grows poorly in adverse conditions. For instance, you can find thinning grass and patches on lawns that are over-fertilized, over-watered or established on compacted soil. Fortunately, you can return your lawn to its former glory. Begin the restoration process in the fall, if you reside in one of the northern states, or in the spring, if you live in the south. Determine the cause of your thinning grass and solve the problem before you attempt to restore your lawn. If not, the issue may continue after the restoration process and nullify your efforts.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Rake
  • Fertilizer
  • Grass seed spreader
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    • 1

      Clear the lawn of all debris, including items such as thatch, leaves and rocks. Set your lawn mower to the lowest setting and mow your lawn close to the ground. The grass should be at a height of about 1 1/2 inches so the seedlings can receive sunlight and water. Remove the grass clippings from the lawn.

    • 2

      Rake the lawn to loosen the top soil and create a bed for the new seeds. The seedlings can form a root system when the soil is loose. Rake in some fertilizer to fortify the root system with phosphorous.

    • 3

      Sow the new seed as if you are creating a new lawn. This ensures a reasonable growth rate and compensates for seeds that may not germinate. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the variety of grass you are planting or sow the seeds with a grass seed spreader at a rate of 1 1/2 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

    • 4

      Cover the seeds with a 1/4-inch layer of top soil, compost or peat moss to protect the seeds and keep them in place. Cover them with a layer of grass clippings that are free of herbicides.

    • 5

      Water the lawn three to four times daily until the seeds germinate. The seeds usually germinate in two weeks. Mow the lawn when the new grass is about 3 inches high.

    • 6

      Apply similar steps to heal patches in the lawn. Remove thatch from the spot and loosen the top soil with a rake. Spread the grass seeds. Water frequently until the seeds germinate.