How to deal with Bare Patches

bare patch with no grass on a lawn

Bare patches: can be very common but are an unattractive site to behold in our lovely lawns. Particularly, after last year’s drought many lawns need overseeding.

As well as dry weather, there are a few other reasons for parts of your lawn to go bald – incorrect mowing, furniture, frequent traffic, and dog urine; to name a few.

Whatever the cause, bare patches are fixable with a little time and love.

Bare patches appear after mowing?

Simply, the lawn has been scalped.


Mowing as often as you can on a high height will give your lawn the best chance of recovery. As a guide, we recommend keeping your lawn between 25mm (1’’) and 50mm (2’’) in length. Before we get dry weather, increase the height of the cut up to 50mm.

If you are using a petrol lawn mower, fuel or oil leak could be the issue. We advise you don’t refill your mower whilst stood on the lawn – any petrol spillage will kill the grass plants. Also, double check for any loose pipes. If the grass has been burnt, more than likely a patch repair would be required.

Irregular bare patches during dry weather? 

Your soil is dry. Just like humans, lawns need a good drink to survive hot weather. 

Round bare patches with bright green edges?

This is possibly caused by your furry friends. You could try training your dog(s) to relieve themselves elsewhere or spraying water on the lawn straight after your dog has urinated can help. Although, we understand this is easier said than done.

(For more information: Pets on your lawn – GreenThumb)

Bare patches in shaded areas?

Plants need light for growth. So, when levels are low this will result in thinning due to the plant drawing energy from its own reserves to survive. Although it can be impossible to remove all shade, it’s important to take small steps to reduce it.

Cut or prune trees and shrubs; keep the cut high when mowing; remove grass clippings and remove furniture. Or at least, move the furniture around regularly to avoid the grass beneath becoming dead from lack of sunlight.

How to fill in bare patches in the lawn

Does your lawn have any of the above problems? If a bare patch is already present, it’s best to fill in the patches with lawn seed that matches your existing grass. With everything, you get what you pay for. A good quality lawn seed should give you a better lawn in the long run.

If your lawn is made of fine-bladed fescues, choose a fine lawn seed mix. If it’s a hard-wearing lawn with thick ryegrass, general lawn seed will be fine.

Follow the instructions on the packet but ideally when sowing, the new seed requires warmth, moisture, and sufficient soil contact; ground temperature needs to be above 8˚C. It’s important for the seed to remain moist, so we recommend that you water the reseeded areas if there hasn’t been sufficient rainfall. Mowing can continue at a higher setting to allow the seed applied to germinate and blend in, after the new grass has fully grown (when it’s reached the two-leaf stage) then you can cut down to your normal height.

adding seed to bare patches

How GreenThumb can help

We have an excellent Top Dressing and Overseeding treatment.

  • Our Top Dressing is a bespoke, 100% organic product, made up of green waste. It's used for overseeding to nourish and protect developing grass plants and to also enrich sandy soil or improve clay soil.
  • Our Diamond Green seed is a blend of Fescue and Perennial Rye grasses which adapt specifically to any environment. It has fast establishment, improves colour and a greater tolerance to drought, shade, disease and close mowing.

It’s also important to consider that bare patches can be caused by lawn disease. Your GreenThumb Lawn Operative will be able to identify any common lawn disease . If you have any concerns, please make your branch or lawn operative aware.

Our treatments will do wonders for your lawn, but we require a little effort from you to make your lawn shine.

Get in touch today: Find your local GreenThumb branch

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