A small corner of my lawn has gone bare (see attached picture). I wanted to know if I should wait it out hoping that adjacent grass will start growing in spring and slowly cover the patch. Or should I put seeds there to grow the same grass variety or do something else. Note that I live in the San Francisco area where we had a drought last year and had to cut down on watering. enter image description here

  • It looks like the soil needs a little loosening after the drought. Also a small amount of soil/fertiliser/sand mix to top dress this corner should help the grass grow into this spot. Try to keep pets and feet off it after you do this to give it its best chance.
    – Viv
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 22:47
  • @viv can you please elaborate. I am a newbie for maintaining grass. How do I loosen the soil and how deep? What type of soil or fertilizer do you recommend and what proportions of each and how many inches?
    – JStorage
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 19:45
  • You can use a manual aerator to loosen the soil, or simplest option is to use a shovel/hoe combination to cut and turn the top layer of earth. The photo shows paving adjacent to the area that is lacking turf coverage, is this correct? Drought and foot traffic compacts the soil underneath the grass and as a consequence the grass struggles to attach and grow into it.
    – Viv
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 1:58
  • Some useful information can be found here:palmetto.com.au/better-soil-leads-to-a-better-lawn.html
    – Viv
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 2:01
  • @viv thanks. I have a manual aerator like this one alturl.com/rcxnn. Is that too big? I am concerned about creating more damage for this relatively minor issue. the issue is not resulting from foot traffic but most likely due to lack of water. Also, any recommendations on soil/fertiliser/sandmix to top dress?
    – JStorage
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


I would think you don't have to do much to restore this. Scrape the surface to reduce and remove mosses, sow some grass seeds, cover with sand or a light dusting of soil, taking care to keep these well watered during germination and their early stages of growth. Don't cut with a mower for a while until well established, use shears on this small portion, even though it may look slightly untidy.

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