How should I reseed the bare spots in my lawn?


I have tried to reseed the bare spots in my lawn with little success. I looked online at winter seeding a lawn (Dec.-Feb.) and it shows a germination rate of up to 75% in the spring. Is this something that would work in our zone? If so, what seed mix/manufacturer would you recommend?


Lynne Holland, Horticulture Professional

On line resources are always an option but knowing where they are from is really important as plants perform differently in different places.  I would suggest you look at the this resource:  Lawns (click on the underlined blue text to be taken to this chapter in our Master Gardener Manual) and specifically Bulletin 2367 Establishing a Home Lawn in Maine.  Reseeding or top seeding can be done in spring or fall with equally good results but you have missed the timeframe for fall reseeding.

Two things to consider before you choose your seed mix and both have to do with why you have the bare spots in the first place:

  • What are the site conditions and are they a factor in why the bares pots occur
  • Is this a situation for a low input lawn to make sure you don’t have to continually add inputs into the lawn?

Mark the spots that need attention now (little flags) and do any soil amendments now and then top seed in the spring but make sure you DON’T use crabgrass preventer in the spring as that will also prevent germination of other grass varieties.