Ideally, patching bare areas with seed or sod should be done early in the growing season so it can take root and blend into the surrounding area before the winter dormant season. This ideal time depends on the climate where you live.
When to Patch Bare Areas of Your Lawn
SEED VS SOD
Patching with sod:
Patching with seed:
-Lower initial costs
-Easy to install
-Stronger root system
-No protection needed (compared to seeding)
-Can be planted during most growing seasons
-Great for difficult terrain
CUT A SOD PATCH
Use a sharp shovel or garden knife to cut a patch of sod grass that is slightly bigger than the bare area in your lawn. The patch should extend 2 inches or so beyond the edges of the bare spot into the healthy grass area.
CUT OUT THE OLD TURF
Place the sod patch over the bare spot. Use a sharp shovel or garden knife to "trace" around the sod patch into the healthy lawn around the bare spot. Remove the sod patch, then remove the dead grass and the ring of healthy grass around the bare patch, using a hand cultivator. Remove a layer of soil below the grass: The goal is to dig down slightly so that the sod patch will sit down at the same level as the rest of your lawn.
PREPARE THE SOIL
Loosen up the soil in your patch area, using a shovel, garden rake, or cultivator. You want the soil nice and loose so that the roots of the sod patch can quickly grow down and anchor in the soil.
PLANT THE SOD PATCH
Place the sod patch into the excavated area, and compress it into the ground by walking on it repeatedly. Water immediately, and repeat watering two or three times a day for several days, until the sod patch is bonded and is beginning to grow actively.
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Within two weeks or so, your sod patch should be seamless and indistinguishable from the rest of your lawn, but it will take as much as six weeks to be fully rooted. Don't be surprised if it is a slightly different color at first; this will disappear soon.