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Established lawns can become thin and worm over time and can benefit from over sowing with new lawn seed to help thicken up and revive the look of the lawn.
For bare patches, loosen the soil in the bare patch with a rake or garden fork to create a soft, loose surface. You can also spread some handfuls of lawn top dressing over the patch. For thin lawns, applying some lawn top dressing over the entire area can help improve new lawn seed establishment by providing a softer and loose surface.
Mix the required amount of lawn seed with a turf starter Fertiliser (like Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food). This makes it much easier to spread out the lawn seed over the bare patch or existing lawn, adds valuable organic matter to the soil and provides the new grass seedlings with gentle slow release nutrients as they establish.
Scatter the lawn seed as per the oversowing / patching directions and keep the patch or area moist for several weeks while the new grass establishes.
It is difficult for air, water and nutrients to penetrate into hard compacted soil and is difficult for grass to grow and flourish, so it’s a good idea to improve and fix areas of compacted soil. A hand-held corer or lawn aerator can be used, which removes small plugs of soil, helping to open up the soil and improve water, air and nutrient penetration down into the root zone and improved grass growth. Mechanical corers can also be used.
A small amount of thatch can be beneficial as it helps prevent evaporation, aids water retention and can give increased tolerance to wear and tear. However too much thatch can affect water, fertiliser and air getting to the soil and lawn roots and needs to be removed by a process called ‘de-thatching’ or scarifying. This can be done by mowing the lawn at a low level (this can be done over several mows, lowering the mower at each cut) or vigorously raking the lawn with a strong rake (sometimes called a thatching rake).
Lawn scarifier machines are also available. De-thatching established lawns is best carried out from mid spring to early summer, so that the weather is warm enough to promote fresh new grass growth. Apply a soil wetting agent, a lawn fertiliser and water well after de-thatching to help promote better water penetration into the root zone and encourage healthy grass growth.