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Outdoor chair, table and ottoman on green grass
Losing the turf war? Restore lawn order with these expert tips to feed and maintain your grass.

Going bald

Bare or thinning patches in the lawn can ruin the look and feel of a space. While repairs are easy, it’s important to address the root causes to prevent it from happening again. This may include treating for pests and diseases, aerating the lawn, removing overhanging branches, or creating new tracks or areas for kids and pets to play.

How to repair bald patches

Cool season grasses like perennial rye and tall fescue do not have runners, so they will not spread into the surrounding bare patches. You will need to sow lawn seed to help thicken up those areas. However, warm season grasses like couch, kikuyu or buffalo run and spread, so can be encouraged to thicken up neighbouring patches with regular feeding and watering. If there are large patches, you may want to consider putting down lawn seed.

A person raking leaves into a pile on an area of grass

To sow lawn seed, you will need:

  • Suitable lawn seed (Note: There is no buffalo lawn seed. Buffalo can only be repaired by using plugs or purchasing new rolls of turf.)
  • A rake
  • Lawn topsoil

Step 1: Remove weeds from the area and rake away any dead lawn stems and foliage. Grade and level, adding topsoil if needed.

Step 2: Lightly rake one way to create shallow furrows. Scatter lawn seed over the area, using only as much as is required (as specified on the pack).

Step 3: Lightly rake to cover the seeds with soil. Water with a fine mist spray.

Step 4: Keep the soil moist at all times, otherwise, seeds may dry out and result in poor germination and patchy growth.

Step 5: Mow when the lawn reaches 5-7cm tall, but only remove the top 2cm. As the lawn matures, you can gradually lower the blades.

To lay turf, you will need:

Step 1: Remove weeds from the area and rake away any dead lawn stems and foliage. Grade and level, adding topsoil if needed.

Step 2: Use a spade or shears to cut the turf to size. If you have multiple areas to fill, make the most of a roll and cut it into small squares.

Step 3: Lay it in the bare patch and gently firm down. Dress the sides with remaining top soil.

Step 4: Water the patch well and continue to water for the next 6-8 weeks, or until it is well established.

A person rolling out a strip of turf

Keep up the good work!

Keep up your lawn maintenance practices to avoid dead grass. Follow our rundown on everything you need to know about caring for a buffalo lawn


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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.