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Pat Sullivan: Reseeding bare spots on your lawn

Mid-March in Indiana offers more sun and warmer soil to germinate new grass seed in bare spots.

INDIANAPOLIS — If you have been waiting to address dead grass or dead spots in your lawn, mid-March in Indiana offers more sun and warmer soil to germinate new grass seed in those bare spots.

That's according to Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden, who showed you how to prepare and plant grass in your lawn's bare spots Sunday on the first day of spring in his weekly do-it-yourself segment on 13Sunrise.

"The first thing to do with seeding is to make sure you have enough light," said Sullivan, who explained that even seed advertised to grow in dense shade still needs 3-4 hours of daily sunlight to grow. Any area that falls short of that daily peak at the sun, like a wooded area near the edge of yard, is better covered with mulch year-round.

If you have spots of dead grass in an open area of lawn, you can probably apply grass seed now and see some success.

"Seed is not going to germinate until the soil temperature is in the 50's," Sullivan explained. So a germination time of 5-to-7 days that's printed on the grass seed bag assumes you will be planting it in warm soil. 

Throwing seed over established grass is futile because the seed is unlikely to come in contact with bare soil and take root. Instead, you must prepare the ground in your bare spot with a rake or hoe to loosen the dirt before you drop any seed on it. 

Apply the seed with a granular fertilizer, then rake it slightly so the seed is sitting about 1/4 inch below the surface and in complete contact with the soil.

You will need to keep it moist, but spring rains usually take care of that for you.

"Now is the time," said Sullivan.

Watch Pat seed a bare spot step-by-step in his full Sunrise segment in the video player.

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