I'm looking to fill some patches on my lawn that are left over from last year's addition of a layer of topsoil. They seem resistant to the typical loosen soil, apply seed and water approach -- which I've done a couple of times. Each time, I get more coverage but there are still some patches. I want to finish it off with a convenient mix.

Costco has a bag of premixed dirt, seed, starter fertilizer (and likely peat) which seemed like a good idea. But, I choked on price.

I understand the guidance re. soil testing in comments... and I certainly have concerns with the amount of sand that was in the top soil (a neighbour is convinced that, with the amount of clay we've got, it will 'eventually' turn into a nice loam). However, I can't help but think that a convenient mix applied to the areas will address the patches where either the birds keep eating before it establishes or the sand was a bit concentrated, etc.

Anyone have a recipe they're able to share?

  • If you're having issues getting grass seed you need to figure out why you're having problems. Soil compaction, poor soil texture, improper watering, etc. I'd also recommend doing a soil test. UConn has very good prices soiltest.uconn.edu/price.php Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 16:37
  • Do you know of similar services available in Canada, preferably Ontario? Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 16:42
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    In the US it's usually done by the Cooperate Extension Service at Universities. Don't know if there's a similar service in Canada but here's what I found. List of accredited soil testing labs omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/resource/soillabs.htm and the U of Guelph soil testing lab guelphlabservices.com/AFL/GrowersSoil.aspx#NutrientAnalysis The Lawn & Garden Fertility Package is the most complete and the organic matter analysis in it could be helpful. In later years you may want to just do one of the simpler tests if your OM content is good. Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 16:48
  • Why are there bare patches, can I ask, do you know the cause (dog, weed, moss), or have they always been there?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 17:27
  • Thanks for comments ... I've edited with a bit more context. Basically, a re-seed after a leveling with fresh topsoil. More and more coverage each time, so I'm confident the soil is at least passable / capable of growing the grass. Now looking to be more targeted in application of seed with some starter to be sure the rest of it takes. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


Those mixes are convenient, no lie, but they are no comparison to a proper seeding job. What I do is not only loosen the soil, but add new high quality soil in a layer, sprinkle seed, rake in, and water. It's better not to fertilize until after the 3 leaf stage. Waiting until the seedlings tiller wouldn't hurt either.

Also realize that i you have sandy patches, bare spots may be a yearly issue unless you irrigate thoroughly. I also feel that grubs may be an issue for you.

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