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Monday - March 09, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Quick and EZ way to cover bare spots in lawn with grass
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

We recently had to dig up our lawn to have a pipe replaced. We now have a long strip of our yard that is either dug up or covered by some of the dirt that is dug up. We want to fill in the grass. We live in Austin and I'm not sure what kind of grass we have--it's mostly crab grass and weeds with lots of cracks in the dirt and dry patches. Can we cover the hole with native grasses without digging up the whole yard and starting over? If we used buffalo grass on the dug up part, will it look drastically different from the rest of our lawn? Would the buffalo grass and current grass eventually intermingle and look fine? Should we use seeds or sod? What's the best time of the year to do it. The house we are talking about is one we rent out--we don't live there and don't have the time or money to totally redo the lawn until a year and 1/2 from now when we move back. Need some sort of quick repair we can do in one day.

ANSWER:

It doesn't seem likely that you will spend the time to do this job right.  The easiest course for you to take is to plant Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss).  The proper way to plant this grass is described in a Wildflower Garden Center article that you can find in the How To Articles section.  But since that requires an investment in time and effort I will recommend that after the soil temperature reaches about 70 degrees Fahrenheit you simply rake the bare areas level, broadcast  Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) seed over the area (2-4 pounds of seed per 1000 ft sq.), sprinkle a little fine compost to barely cover the seed and water thoroughly.  The germination will be much better if you then keep the area moist for a week or ten days to prevent the sprouting seed from drying out.

The other weedy grass and forbs will soon migrate into the newly seeded areas, so the lawn will not look much different than now.  But I wouldn't expect it to look "fine".  That will come only after you do a proper job later.

 

 

 

 

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