You may find yourself asking, “Why is my lawn so patchy?” If bare spots on your lawn have you playing detective, then look no further for a solution to your landscaping mystery. You could have animals urinating on your lawn. There’s also a possibility that ravenous grubs or other backyard pests have claimed your outdoor spaces as their home base. Your yard could also have a fungal disease.  

Whatever the case might be, do your due diligence and familiarize yourself with the possible reasons bare spots plague your outdoor oasis. Additionally, you’ll need to study up on repair said bare spots, should they make an appearance on your lawn. Without this bare-spot-repair know-how, your backyard will have a diagnosis without a cure. 

How to repair dead spots

Repairing dead spots is as easy as following these steps:

  • Rake the area. 
  • Use a lawn rake or garden cultivator to loosen the soil. 
  • Use compost or loam soil to amend it. 
  • Spread the seeds 

Different seeds should be used based on the lawns’ environment. You can find the right grass seed for your region and micro-climate through retailers like Nature’s Seed. Now that you know how to remedy a wilting lawn, it’s time to backtrack and uncover the root cause of a balding lawn. 

Pet or wild animal urine 

Urine from animals usually leaves a brown, straw-like patch on the lawn since it contains a high urea concentration. The dead spot is usually surrounded by dark green, healthy grass caused by higher nitrogen levels. Watering the area immediately after an animal urinates may help prevent burns.

Pests or weeds under the turf

Grubs include the larvae of Japanese beetles and June bugs. When there is an infestation, your backyard grass can tolerate these pests to some degree. However, a high concentration will result in. dead patches 

You can tell if you have grubs when the dead patch pulls off the ground when tugged with minimal effort. After dealing with the grubs, you can reseed or resod

Fungal infections

Patches of lawns can die from diseases such as snow mold–a thin, white web that may form on the grass due to a fungal infection. With consistent, good lawn care, you can minimize snow mold from becoming a recurring problem.

Spilled chemicals or gasoline

Pesticides or herbicides such as glyphosate can cause dead spots in the lawn. Even a good weed killer may destroy turf grasses if it’s too concentrated. 

Chemical spills usually produce an irregularly shaped dead patch. If you spill something, thoroughly water the area. As an added precaution,  when using chemicals on grass, take extra care to prevent spills. Preventing a problem is always better than fixing one. 

Burn spots from salt

Salt is often applied to sidewalks and streets in northern climates in the winter to prevent icing, causing burn spots as the grass begins to grow. You may need to reseed or lay down more sod after these areas recover in the spring. 

Salting sidewalks less will help prevent future problems, but for roads, you can only look for groundcovers other than grass, like moss or creeping charlie. 

Burns from fertilizer

An over-fertilized lawn may burn the grass leaves and leave you with a dead patch. Spilled fertilizer should be washed thoroughly with water as soon as possible to remove excessive nitrogen. 

Fill fertilizer spreaders while you are away from the lawn. Fertilize it with the spreader’s steady movements. 

Sprinklers aren’t covering all areas of your lawn

If sprinklers fail to overlap or miss an area, they might leave small patches of turf dormant and brown. Watch your sprinkler patterns while watering to ensure your lawn is uniformly covered. 


These are just some of the reasons you could have bare spots on your lawn. As you look at your yard, take the steps mentioned above to repair the dead areas, then do your best to prevent dead spots on your lawn in the future. 

Leave a Reply