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How to repair a lawn

Workshop Legend

Difficulty: Beginner


Healthy lawn can be a great asset to your home, offering an area for the kids to play, space to entertain friends and family, or just a lush green backdrop to your home.


For our lawns to remain picture-perfect, sometimes we need to roll-up the sleeves and do some repair work.


This guide shows you how to repair a patchy lawn using turf or seed. Let us know if you need a hand selecting the right turf or seed to suit your conditions.


Video Tutorial


Step 1

Define the area to be repaired. If patching with turf rolls or slabs, cut the area to shape with clean, square edges using a spade. If using seed to repair, then define the required shape.


1.1 Define the area to be repaired.png


Step 2

Remove any old grass and deeply aerate with a garden fork. Make sure that all the old grass is removed as well as any material like twigs, roots or rocks. Drive the fork in at least 5cm deep at around 5cm spacings across the entire area. This improves aeration and is vital if the soil was compacted.


2.1 Remove grass and deeply aerate with fork.png


Step 3

Add turf soil mix and starter fertiliser and level. For small areas, bagged turf mix or turf underlay soil is the quick and easy option. Whether using rolls or seed, add lawn starter fertiliser to speed up establishment. Check the seed you are using as some will have a starter blended in. If you have clay soil, spread gypsum too.


Use the flat back of your landscape rake to bring to level. Here’s where there is a difference between rolls and seed. For rolls or slabs, the soil should be levelled to around 10mm below the surrounding soil to allow for the root layer of the rolls. When laying seed, the soil should be left slightly mounded (around 10mm above) to allow for natural settling.


3.1 Add turf soil mix and starter fertiliser and level.png


Step 4

Position turf and trim to fit. When laying the rolls or slabs it’s best to start along an existing straight edge to allow for a neater finish. Once rolls are in and trimmed, use a little lawn mix to fill any gaps along the edges and smooth out any transition between old and new.


If using seed, water the area lightly. This helps the seed “stick” to the soil. Distribute the seed evenly, allowing a little to scatter into surrounding grass to create a blended area.


4.1 Position turf and trim to fit.png


Step 5

Water well, first with water and then with a seaweed solution. Don’t use a fertiliser-fortified blend as you’ve already fed with your starter fertiliser. If using seed, take care to water gently to avoid any seed being washed away.


Turf rolls can be walked on immediately, but it’s best to keep people off for around a week. Keep moist but not wet until the grass starts to take hold to the soil below.


A seed lawn will require you to keep all foot traffic off for at least a few weeks, generally until the first mow. See the pack for more details. Seed will need to be kept reliably moist until well established. This may mean watering twice a day in warmer weather.


5.1 Water in well.png



  • Lawn or turf starter fertiliser

  • Suitable turf rolls, slabs or lawn seed

  • Bagged turf soil mix

  • Gypsum – optional for clay soil

  • Seaweed tonic.


  • Sharp-bladed digging spade

  • Garden fork

  • Landscape rake

  • Watering can.


1.1 Define the area to be repaired.png


2.1 Remove grass and deeply aerate with fork.png


3.1 Add turf soil mix and starter fertiliser and level.png


4.1 Position turf and trim to fit.png


5.1 Water in well.png


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