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I moved into a house a month ago, and am trying to recover the lawn. There are several patches (roughly a square foot each) with no grass at all, just tough soil. There are two large maple trees, so it is quite shaded. Possibly the previous owners had a dog. Possibly the big trees are sucking all the moisture out of the lawn. Not sure what the cause of the bald spots is.

I see a lot of information saying reseeding should happen in the spring or fall, but is it possible to reseed these patches with something now to promote growth?

Not sure what type of product would be best, if I should be reseeding or aerating, what time of year would be best, or if it's all a lost cause. (I hope not!) I live in Northern Ontario, so in a few months, the lawn will likely be covered in snow.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is best to seed in the spring and fall but it can still be done during the summer. Really the key is keeping the soil moist, which is hard to do with the sun beating down on it all day and warm weather. If you are prepared to water several times a day you can probably fix up the patches.

You'll want to put down a small layer of topsoil before you seed the areas. I lightly run a rake over the seeds afterwards to mix them into the very top layer of the new soil.

Use a grass mix appropriate for the amount of sun where the patches are. Kentucky Bluegrass is the most common cool season grass.

Remember, keep it moist!

Aerate in the fall if your soils is really compacted - if water puddles, that is a good sign that you need aeration.

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Thanks. I'm expecting a couple weeks of below 80F temperatures, so with that, the shade from the trees, and attention to watering, hopefully I can keep it moist enough. I'll keep that tip on aerating in mind for the fall. – dangowans Aug 6 '12 at 12:04

I was too anxious to get started on the patching, so last weekend, the first weekend in August, I went up to Home Depot and picked up some Scott's EX Seed. I followed the steps to the letter, sprinkling it on the bald patches on the lawn. I've been paying very close attention to watering, always twice, sometimes three times a day depending on the heat.

Yesterday, to my amazement, grass! It's just starting to grow, but it's only been a week. Another product would probably be better for doing the entire lawn, as EZ Seed would be pricey for large areas, but for patches, it's perfect.

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