Wrapped up in our day-to-day work, family and leisure activities, it’s easy to delay doing anything about the increasingly worn or dead spots that sometimes appear in your otherwise beautiful lawn. Although repairing these unsightly areas may seem like a complicated, drawn out process, there’s a fast and easy solution that gives immediate results, according to the not-for-profit Turf Resource Center (TRC).

Whether it’s called cultivated turf, turfgrass, turf or just plain sod, this carpet-like grass can turn a hole in the lawn into a whole lot of lawn if you just follow these simple steps.

Step 1. Identify what caused the old grass to die and fix the problem. It might have been too much traffic on the area, root-eating insects, disease or something that spilled. Fix the source of the problem, or you’ll just be re-doing the next steps over and over.

Step 2. Outline the patch area(s) with boards or string to create straight sides around the dead area to fit the new turfgrass sod without a lot of trimming, gaps or holes. Then till or spade the area to loosen the soil under the dead patch, and rake it smooth while you remove roots, clods, rocks and other debris. TRC tip: the top of the raked soil should be about one inch below any sidewalk, driveway and existing grass.

Step 3. Purchase enough fresh turfgrass sod from a turfgrass sod farm, home center or garden center to fill the repair area(s) by measuring the length and width of the tilled area and converting this to square feet or square yards. (Example: 3 feet wide by 4 feet long equals 12 square feet. Dividing the 12 square feel by 9 converts the area into 1.3 square yards).

Step 4. Within hours after buying the sod, begin installing it onto the tilled area by placing the first piece along the longest, straight line available. All subsequent pieces of sod should be laid tightly against the first piece, without stretching or overlapping.

Step 5. Ensure the new sod has good contact with the soil underneath by either using a half-filled lawn roller, or just place foot-square boards on the new sod and walk on the boards a few times.

Step 6. Water the new patch until the soil under the sod is wet, but not saturated. Depending on how sunny the location is, the amount of wind or other drying conditions, you may have to water the patch more than once a day for the first week. You can check to see how well the sod is rooting by lightly tugging on a convenient corner of a sod piece. Also, if the soil beneath the sod is not wet, you need to apply more water.

Step 7. Restrict traffic on the area for at least two weeks to give the grass roots a chance to grow and penetrate the soil and for the soil to settle.

Step 8. Mow the area about two weeks after patching, or whenever the sod is tightly rooted. If possible, try to run your mower diagonally across the sod seams. This will reduce rutting and the chance of your mower lifting a corner of sod from the new patch.

Step 9. Enjoy your lawn, without further worries about the repaired areas!

These simple steps will create a mature and complete lawn patch immediately, unlike attempts at patching with grass seed that generally requires months and several re-workings to achieve even a marginally acceptable result

 -Turfgrass Producers International