7 Steps How To Plant Grass Seed In Bare Spots

Planting grass seed in bare spots may seem easy, but there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to do it. If you want your lawn to thrive and be beautiful, follow these 7 steps when planting grass seed in bare spots on your lawn.

One of the most common problems lawn owners face when caring for their lawns and grass, is trying to establish grass seed in bare spots in areas where grass does not grow well or at all. Trying to plant grass seed in bare spots can be very frustrating, with the end result sometimes being little to no growth at all. There are many reasons why this might be happening with your attempts at planting grass seed in bare spots; however, with these steps how to plant grass seed in bare spots, you can increase your chances of success and learn how to plant grass seed in bare spots successfully!

Methods Used for Over seeding lawns and Soil Preparation

Over-seeding lawns and soil preparation involves the following:

  • Determine what type of grass you want to plant.
  • Soil preparation can involve digging over the area, using a power rake or weed eater to remove weeds and preparing the soil for seeding by adding organic matter such as compost or manure.
  • Remove any rocks, roots or debris from the site before seeding.
  • Apply a starter fertilizer if needed.
  • Sow your seed according to package directions, using a hand spreader on top of existing sod if desired. Spread them thinly but not too thin so that they will grow together in a uniform mat. .
  • Mulch is optional but recommended because it helps keep down weeds while maintaining moisture levels and fertilizing at the same time. If you are using shredded leaves make sure they are dry first. Some people find that this makes an excellent organic mulch that decomposes nicely into the earth in about six months time (and provides nutrients).

Steps On How To Plant Grass Seed In Bare Spots

1) Choose The Right Spot

Choose The Righ Choose

When it comes to planting grass seed in bare spots, the first step is to choose the right spot. The area should be level with plenty of sunlight and room for growth. Choose a spot that’s at least three feet away from any other plants or trees, which may shade out your grass over time. Make sure the area doesn’t have any significant slope so water will drain away naturally, and avoid low-lying areas that tend to collect rainwater after storms. If you need help getting rid of weeds beforehand, pull them by hand (wear gloves) or use a chemical weed killer according to the instructions on the bottle.

Once you’ve chosen an area that meets all these requirements, start digging! Use a shovel or spade to remove as much soil as possible before laying down newspaper in sections measuring two feet by two feet each. Put down newspaper because seeds can get stuck on dirt and never grow if they come into contact with it while they’re trying to grow into new roots.
The next step is choosing whether you want to buy seeds in packets from the store or gather them yourself from existing plants: either way make sure they’re freshly collected!

2) Prepare The Soil

Prepare The Soil

Start by preparing your soil by tilling the ground. If you’re working with a large, flat area, use a plow to break up any large clumps of dirt. For smaller areas (like those next to sidewalks), use a hoe or shovel to turn over the top layer of soil and remove any weeds or stones that may be present. Next, add at least two inches of compost for additional nutrients and organic matter. After mixing it in with your soil, rake it until all of the particles are spread out evenly across the surface. Finally, if you have a small area to plant grass seed in bare spots, mix some fertilizer into the ground before planting.

This will help give your new lawn a healthy start! Now it’s time to select your grass seed; either pick one from the store or go to a local nursery. There are many different types of seeds so read through the labels carefully and find one that suits your needs best. When choosing what type of seed, consider what type of climate you live in and how much sun/water is available on average during each day-this can make a big difference in what kind of plants grow well for you.

3) Apply New Grass Seed

Apply New Grass Seed

If you’re planting grass seed in the middle of an open area, you’ll need to rake and level the soil. This will provide a solid base for the seed and also help with drainage and water retention.
Sprinkle your grass seed over the top of your soil and use your hand to press it into the ground as deeply as possible. You want it to be in direct contact with the soil, which means that you can’t cover it up with any other materials such as mulch or sand.
Water your new seeds every day until they have sprouted green blades above ground; this will usually take about 10-14 days (depending on climate).

Keep the newly planted area moist until the first rain arrives and establish their root systems in the loose soil – otherwise they might dry out before they get a chance to grow properly.
Remove weeds from around your new plantings and fertilize them with high nitrogen fertilizer once per month to promote fast growth.

4) Add Organic Material To the Soil

Add Organic Material To the Soil

Organic material helps soil retain moisture and improves its ability to trap nutrients. It also helps the ground release carbon dioxide which is a natural fertilizer for plants. Spread a layer of organic material at least 4 inches deep over the bare spot, then till it in by hand or with a rake. Repeat this process 3 times before planting your grass seed.

Be sure not to use grass clippings from your lawn as they have been chemically treated and will contain weed seeds that may cause more problems later on. The best materials to use are compost, manure or peat moss.
Your soil should also be moist before you plant. The easiest way to check for moisture is by poking your finger into it. If it’s dry, add a little water with a watering can until it feels damp but not soggy. You’ll need to water your newly seeded lawn regularly and deeply, so plan on checking and watering every day or two until your seedlings have sprouted and begun to grow.

5) Water Your Grass Seeds

Water Your Grass Seeds

Watering your grass seeds is crucial to their success. If the soil is too wet, you can dampen the topsoil with a spray bottle and sprinkle on a bit of water. But if it’s too dry, don’t water it at all! The best time to water them is when the soil has dried out just a little. This way, your seeds will have enough moisture to germinate and grow for weeks before needing another drink. Be sure not to overwater or underwater though! Too much water will cause the seeds to rot, while too little could cause them to die from dehydration. Keep an eye on the rain gauge so you know when to water.

You can water your grass seeds with a watering can. Be sure to only use warm or cool water. Never use hot, because hot water will kill them! Just gently sprinkle some extra water on top of them when you see that soil has dried out just a bit. You can also use a special sprinkler, or even pour from a pitcher if it’s too hard to reach down into that hole and tend to each seedling individually! If they need more water than normal one day, just add in more an hour later.

Don’t overdo it though, because soggy soil is just as bad for your grass seedlings as completely dry soil! The idea is to always keep them moist but never soaking wet.

6) Keep a Close Eye on Grass as it Grows

Keep a Close Eye on Grass as it Grows

It’s important to keep an eye on your grass as it grows. Often times, the best way to do this is by mowing the lawn at least once a week, even if it isn’t necessary. This will help you identify any problems early and take care of them before they become more difficult or expensive to solve. If there are bare spots in the lawn that have been exposed for too long, fertilize them with a slow release fertilizer or seed mixture and water them regularly for about two weeks before you reapply the grass seed.

Keep in mind that it can take up to four months for new grass seed to fully grow and establish itself in this area. During this time, it’s very important to stay diligent with watering the newly planted area so that it has enough moisture to thrive and grow. While some people may be tempted to cover their new seed with topsoil or another type of material, doing so is not recommended because these types of materials may block the sun from reaching the soil where the grass needs it most.

7) Let New Grass Grow Long Before Mowing

Let New Grass Grow Long Before Mowing

The best time to plant grass seed in bare spots is when the soil is warm and moist. This will allow the seeds to germinate and develop strong roots. Prepare the seedbed by tilling or raking the soil. Remove any weeds, rocks, or debris from the surface of the soil.
Broadcast your grass seed evenly over this area and then rake lightly to cover them with about 1/4 inch of soil.

When planting grass seed in a bare spot you want to wait at least two weeks before mowing so new growth can establish itself before being cut off again by a lawnmower blade. Keep the soil moist and well-watered during these first few weeks. Do not let it dry out as it could kill off newly sprouted seedlings! If rainfall is light make sure that you are watering every day for 10-15 minutes during these critical stages.
Mow your new grass often enough to keep it at a height of 2 inches tall but do not go above that until after all the clippings have been removed.


If you have tried to seed new grass in your yard or pasture and it did not take, you need to know that there is hope. Here are seven steps that will help you plant grass seed in bare spots:

  • Fill the bare spot with dirt and water the soil thoroughly.
  • Spread grass seed evenly over the area and rake it into the dirt with a hoe or rake.
  • Water every day for two weeks after seeding to keep the ground moist, but not saturated.
  • After 2-3 weeks, monitor your progress by pulling up a clump of grass in different areas of your yard. 5) If any seeds sprout, do not worry; this means the seeds are taking root!
  • Allow at least one month before mowing your lawn again.
  • You may want to wait until next spring before trying to grow new grass again if your first attempt failed.
  • Your second time will be easier because now you know what to expect when planting grass seed in bare spots!


What is the best time to plant grass seed in bare spots?

It is recommended that you plant the seed during the early fall, late summer or in early spring. The best time will vary depending on where you live and what type of grass you want to plant. For example, if your lawn is located close to a body of water, it would be best to do this in the early fall when there is less chance of frost. On the other hand, if you live inland it would be best to do this in the late summer or early spring when there’s more rainfall.

How much grass seed should I buy?

This will depend on how large your area needs planting.

Where can I find good quality grass seed?

The best place to find quality turf grass seeds is from your local home improvement store or garden center. These stores have their own brands that are usually better than those found at big box stores such as Walmart or Target. Most of these also offer free turfgrass samples so make sure to ask for some when you go in! If they don’t have any samples available they can also send out free samples if enough information is given.

How deep should I put the grass seed before covering with soil?

When preparing a new area, it is important not to bury the seeds too deeply (1/4 inch below ground) because they need light to germinate properly.

References & Additional Resources

Last Updated on December 24, 2022

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Mark Wright
Mark Wrighthttps://printerchief.com
Mark Wright is the author and editor for Printerchief, where he brings his expertise in research and the English language to life in the world of technology journalism. When he's not immersed in the world of print, he loves exploring the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona - taking long hikes, fishing and cycling along the way. Andrew is a big reader and likes to take on DIY projects around the home and garden. With a love for the great outdoors and a sharp eye for detail, Andrew has managed to bring both a sense of adventure and enthusiasm to all his work.


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