Answer: Yes, it will if it is the right kind of grass.
We all love looking at green and lush lawns with no bare spots. However, most of us do not know the kind of effort that goes into making lawns look perfect.
In this post, I will share with you all the important information you need to know about the ability of grass to spread.
Will lawn grass spread to cover bare spots?
Yes, it will. If it is the right grass species with the ability to grow via underground side shoots or via above-ground stems, it can slowly cover the bare spots in your lawn. You just need to give it what it needs to grow.
Furthermore, if it is a grass grown from a natural seed with the ability to develop flowers and develop seeds, with time, it will create young grass plants around the bare spots and slowly cover them up.
Why Do Grass Lawns Have Bare Spots?
Grass lawns can have bare spots because of human error, turf diseases, or dogs.
Human errors that can lead to grass lawns having bare sports include uneven seeding during planting, over-fertilizing an area leading to the death of grass plants, accidentally burning grass with a steaming hot mower leading to the death of grass, and oil spills from mower leading to the death of grass.
Turf diseases including patch diseases can result in circular bare spots on your lawn. Dogs can also cause bare spots on your lawn. They usually do this by either digging and removing grass or continuously relieving themselves in the same spot leading to the death of grass.
As you can see above, bare spots on grass lawns do not just appear for no reason. They are all caused by something.
What to do in When You Notice Bare Spots
When you notice bare spots on your lawn, you have to find out the cause. The cause will determine what you need to do next.
For example, if the cause of bare spots on your lawn is a turf disease, you need to dig out the affected areas, add new soil plus compost, and then plant new seeds. The seeds will grow to cover the bare spots in a few months. If the affected areas are big, you should strongly consider sodding or sprigging to cover them up. Nevertheless, simply digging up and re-seeding the spots is usually enough.
If the cause of the bare spots is dog urine, you should flush the area with water to remove excess salts in it and then till the area. After this, you should add compost and plant new grass. You should then train your dog to go pee in an alternative place. It may be difficult but you will have to do it or the habit will continue.
Once you have repaired bare spots, you should improve your lawn maintenance practices and inspect your lawn more frequently. This is to make sure you spot and stop possible causes of bare spots before they damage your lawn.
What Grass Species Automatically Spreads To Cover Bare Spots?
The grass species you have in your lawn will determine whether any bare spots on it will automatically be covered.
The grass species that automatically spread and cover bare spots are Bermuda grass and Kentucky bluegrass. If you have either of these two grass species, bare spots in your lawn will be covered with time. This will obviously only happen if the water, light, and nutrient profile conditions are right.
What most people do not know is that Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass are probably the two most common types of grass in the United States. Therefore, most people have one of these two grass species on their lawns. What they simply need to do is to give them the right conditions to spread.
How do Bermuda grass and Kentucky bluegrass species spread? They do so using rhizomes under the ground and stolons above the grounds. Rhizomes are stem-like shoots that grow underground and become independent grass plants. While stolons are vine-like plantlets that grow into adult grass.
Zoysia, centipede, St. Augustine, and creeping red fescue grass species are also known to spread well and cover bare spots.
Natural grass species that develop flowers and seeds can also spread to cover bare spots because the seeds will spread around them, plant themselves, and then grow into new plants.
How to Make Grass Spread
To make your grass spread and look heavenly, you need to create the right conditions. Below are some of the steps you can follow to make your lawn perfect.
Test your soil and make it better
Maybe the reason why your grass is not spreading is that your soil is not very conducive for it to thrive in. So take samples of your soil and get them tested. If your soil is acidic and you have a grass species that does not thrive in that kind of soil, you need to add lime to your lawn to reduce the soil’s acidity. If your lawn soil is too alkaline yet your grass needs soil that is mildly acidic to thrive, you should add sulfur to increase your soil’s acidity. Remember to follow the recommended guidelines when altering soil pH to avoid making your lawn soil worse.
Improve your topsoil
According to researchers, the topsoil or growing soil has to be about 5 inches in height to allow maximum root development and to promote grass spreading via rhizomes. Therefore, if there are patches in your lawn, you can till the areas thoroughly and then remove hard soil, roots, and rocks to make it more conducive for grass root development. You can make the tilled areas even better for grass development by adding compost before spreading grass seed.
Lawns need nutrients to develop stronger root networks, to grow more grass blades, to become thicker, and to spread over bare spots. Therefore, make sure you apply fertilizer to your lawn as often as it is recommended. The best fertilizers when planting lawn seeds are high-phosphorus fertilizers because they help with germination and root formation. To promote growth after planting, the best fertilizers to use are high-nitrogen fertilizers.
Regular watering is necessary to ensure your lawn receives all the water it needs to grow. Ideally, grass plants need about an inch of water every week to grow and thrive. Therefore, if you live in a dry area such as Southern California or New Mexico, you should water your lawn daily to give your grass the moisture it needs to look good and grow. Most grass species that spread by way of rhizomes, will not spread if they do not receive sufficient moisture.
Mow your grass properly
Many people mow their grass low. They do this to give themselves plenty of time until they need to mow again. While this may seem logical, it usually cuts grass blades to levels that make them struggle to develop further. Generally, you should never cut more than one-third of the height of your grass blades. So every time you go out to mow, set the height right to avoid slowing down your grass and your lawn in general.