Brown patches can appear overnight, even on the best-tended lawns. And right now is the perfect time to patch them up! Unfortunately, in most cases, the only cure is to dig up the dead grass and replace it. It’s a simple fix — and hopefully you keep a stock of homemade replacement plugs on hand. If not, follow these steps next spring so you’ll always be able to make a little “comb-over” magic for your lawn’s bald spots:
STEP 1. Collect a bunch of plastic flats, like the ones that many annual flowers and veggies come in. (Make sure there are holes in the bottom for drainage.)
STEP 2. Line each flat with aluminum foil, leaving about 2 inches of foil hanging out over one side. That will allow excess water to drain off and make the soil block easier to slide out later on. Also, be sure to punch holes through the foil that’s on the bottom.
STEP 3. Fill each flat with potting soil or a half-and-half mixture of compost and garden soil.
STEP 4. Sprinkle grass seed on top — the same type as you’ve got growing in your lawn, of course — and put the flats in a bright but sheltered place. (I keep mine by the back door so I never forget to water them.)
STEP 5. Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout; after that, just give the grass a good drink of water twice a day.
Within a couple of weeks, you’ll have nice, thick blocks of turf that you can use whenever a bare spot appears in your lawn. Just slide the soil out of the flat and pop it into place, either whole or broken into pieces.