Watching grass grow

OK, this is not going to be an exciting post, at least not visually. We’re going to watch grass grow: I’m going to show you how to reseed small areas of lawn, since this is the perfect time of year and perfect weather to do it.

Reseeding a bare patch of lawn is easy if and only if you can keep the area damp while the grass is getting started. You’ll have to water gently a couple of times a day, more if the weather is hot. So here’s what you do:

Start by raking the area clear of all weeds and thatch, as I did on this small crescent-shaped area at the edge of my patio:


Next, scatter the seed rather thickly and as evenly as you can. Since I did this by hand, it’s not very even, but it will do. And buy the right grass seed for the area you’re reseeding. I bought a mix for high-traffic areas in full sun:


Finally, scatter a very thin layer (less than 1/4″) of compost, and water gently but thoroughly. I bought a small bag of organic compost for this task, because my compost is never free of weed seeds:


If you look closely, you’ll notice that you can still see some seed through the compost, and that’s OK–it’s better than a thick layer that would smother the germinating plants. Now the only thing left to do is to keep the area damp until the grass germinates, which takes about a week, depending on the weather.

Today, 9 days later, most of the grass is up (as is a dandelion I missed when I weeded):


If you look closely, you can see the new grass growing (it looks much better from the side). And that’s all there is to it–no fertilizer, no herbicides, no salt hay (although for a larger area that might be a good idea). Just seed and a little compost–and a gentle watering a couple of times a day.



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