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A thick, gorgeous lawn doesn’t happen by itself.

When you have foot traffic from people and pets, wear and tear can take its toll on your grass and make your lawn look patchy. The next thing you know, weeds will start growing on these patches. What you’ll be left with is an unsightly lawn you won’t get to enjoy.

What to do now? Kick your worries to the kerb because we’re giving you our best lawn repair tips on how to fix bare patches like a pro.


How to repair your lawn in Australia

Australian weather brings in cold winter and hot summer months. Being subjected to harsh weather conditions can be particularly challenging for your lawn. Choosing the right products, preparing your lawn, and keeping it watered and fed well are all important steps in keeping your grass lush and healthy. We’re giving you our tried-and-tested lawn repair tips to bring back the beauty of your lawn:


What you need to repair your lawn

  • Lawn mower
  • Rake
  • Grass seed
  • Seed spreader
  • Lawn roller (optional)
  • Topsoil or compost (optional)
  • Water



Choose the best lawn repair product for your lawn

Here are some useful things to remember when buying grass seed, weed killers and pest control products.

  • For a quick fix, use multi-purpose lawn seed products. These are convenient, easy to use and contain nutrients that nourish your soil while repairing your lawn at the same time.
  • When looking for weed killers, choose one that’s appropriate for your grass type. There are also available weed killers that fertilise while doing the job. You’ll be left with weed-free healthy green grass after the treatment.
  • Use pest control products that kill grubs and parasites but are non-toxic to earthworms. You’ll need these little creatures to burrow through and aerate your soil to keep it healthy.



Prepare your lawn for repair

When doing lawn repair, preparation is equally important in having a lush and healthy-looking lawn. The best time to start repairing your lawn is during spring to ensure that your grass grows strong and healthy through summer.

  • Remove weeds before seeding by using a non-selective herbicide at least two weeks before seeding.
  • Clear your lawn of any dead leaves, weeds and debris.
  • Loosen compacted soil to let air and nutrients in.
  • Scatter lawn seed repair over bare or thinning patches then rake it into the soil. You can do this manually or use a seed spreader to ensure that seeds are distributed evenly across your lawn. I find that walking backwards while doing this is the best way to spread seeds well.
  • Water the patch well to help your new grass establish. You may need to water more frequently when the weather is hot and dry.
  • Keep people and pets off of your lawn while new grass is trying to establish.



What helps a struggling lawn?

  • Aerating your lawn helps to allow air, nutrients and water into your soil. You can choose between a hand-held or mechanical corer and a lawn aerator for this purpose.
  • Dethatching helps your soil absorb moisture and nutrients well. You can dethatch by mowing your lawn at a low level or using a thatching rake or lawn scarifier machine.
  • Feed and water your lawn well to revitalise your lawn and help new grass to establish.
  • Make sure there is plenty of sunlight to nourish your lawn. Prune overshadowing plants if you see thinning or bare patches near garden beds or large bushes.



What is the best way to repair your lawn?

Unless you’re keen on having a checkerboard for a yard, fixing bare patches on your lawn is your best bet. The trick here is to know what is causing your lawn to look patchy so you’ll know what lawn repair products to use and how best to solve the problem.

Is your lawn showing any of these symptoms?


My lawn has bare patches near the paving, letterbox or clothesline.

When you see patches around a letterbox, clothesline or things that are heavily used, high foot traffic may be to blame. A quick fix for this is to use patching product or lawn seed. This is only temporary, as you’ll start to see patches again on the same sites out of wear and tear. You can put stepping stones or a small pathway on these areas so that you won’t have to keep on repairing the patched areas.


My lawn has thin areas around the edge of garden beds and fence lines.

Thinning areas near the edge of garden beds and fence lines may be caused by lack of direct sun on your lawn. This happens when the surrounding plants overshadow the grass and block sunlight from reaching the grass. When this happens, there are a few things you can do to revive your thinning lawn. See which one works best for you:

  • Prune the surrounding plants to lessen the shade and bring in more sunlight to your lawn.
  • Use a more shade-tolerant lawn variety as an alternative.
  • Get creative! Transform the area into a mini-garden by landscaping the surrounding area with shade-tolerant plants.


My lawn has patches that look scorched in the middle and have bright green grass around the edges. The patches are in random areas in my lawn.

Patches that are found in random areas of your lawn and have bright green edges are most likely caused by dog urine. You can fix this by watering the area immediately and using a patching product after. You may want to keep your dog off the lawn if you’re not too keen on repairing patches repeatedly on a long-term basis.


My lawn is thin all over.

When your lawn is thin all over, it can be a combination of different environmental factors such as extreme weather conditions and insufficient watering or feeding. Thinking long-term, it would be best to have a care regimen for your lawn to ensure that it is fed and watered well regularly. In the meantime, you can aerate and feed your lawn with fertiliser and apply moisture-retaining soil products to revive the grass.


My lawn has bare or very thin patches in random areas with grass that can be easily pulled from the soil.

If you’ve eliminated too much shade and insufficient watering or feeding as probable causes, it’s likely that your lawn has grubs, beetles or worms. Bring a small soil sample to your local lawn experts for proper pest identification and treatment. You can also use a grub and insect control product that doesn’t harm earthworms to rid your lawn of pests and parasites.



FAQs on lawn repair

Lawn owners frequently ask me how I keep my lawn looking lush and healthy. The truth is, it takes a village to have a lawn looking like that, and a whole lot of TLC. When I’m in the mood to DIY, these are the things I do to ensure that my lawn stays thick and bright green.


How to fix my lawn full of weeds


Do I need to get rid of weeds before seeding?

Yes, it is best to remove weeds before seeding. Weeds will outcompete your new grass for nutrients needed for growth and will cause your lawn to thin and look unhealthy.


How can I remove weeds from my lawn?

Use a non-selective herbicide to rid your lawn of weeds. Spray the herbicide at least two weeks before seeding your lawn. Alternatively, you can manually remove the weeds one by one if you have the patience (and time) for it. This is a tedious but thorough process, and is a sure way to remove weeds and its roots from your lawn.


How do I fix a weedy lawn?

How to fix a weedy lawn is a constant concern of mine, and I’m sure it’s yours, too. When your lawn is all weeds and no grass, this means that weeds have overtaken your grass and consumed the nutrients intended for your lawn.

Weeds grow in bare or thinning patches in your lawn. When your lawn is healthy, the weeds won’t be able to thrive and outcompete your grass for nutrients.

The best way to prevent the growth of weeds is to nourish your lawn well so that the grass grows healthier and stronger than the weeds. In this way, there is also less likelihood that there are thin or bare patches on your lawn for weeds to grow on.



How to fix a dead lawn

There are many ways on how to restore a dead lawn. Lawn restoration starts with healthy soil. Removing thatch and weed build-up, aerating your soil and adding in nutrients by watering well and using fertiliser are all important in reviving your lawn.

If you’re still unsure on how to repair your lawn and fix bare or thinning patches, you can ask your local lawn service provider for assistance. Getting professional help for your lawn can be the best thing you can do for your thinning or patchy lawn. You can be sure that your lawn care professionals will properly diagnose your lawn and have the right treatment carried out.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.